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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Stochastic partial budget analysis of strategies to reduce the prevalence of lung lesions in finishing pigs at slaughter

Jerlström, Josefine; Huang, Wei; Ehlorsson, Carl-Johan; Eriksson, Ingvar; Reneby, Amanda; Comin, Arianna


Ante- and post-mortem inspections of food-producing animals at slaughter are mandatory activities carried out in many countries to ensure public health, animal health, and meat quality. In finishing pigs, lung lesions are the most frequent defects found in meat inspections. It is possible to implement managerial strategies on-farm to reduce the occurrence and spread of respiratory diseases, but such strategies come with additional costs that could impede implementation. This study assessed the economic impact of two strategies aimed at reducing the prevalence of lung lesions in finishing pigs at slaughter by improving the health conditions of the animals during the production cycle. First, a farrow-to-finish pig farm with 355 sows was modeled based on the current standard practice for finishing pig production in Sweden, using economic data, meat inspection data and biological variables from the literature and expert opinions. A partial budget analysis was then performed in which the baseline farm was compared with two hypothetical strategies aimed at reducing the occurrence and spread of respiratory diseases during pig production: (S1) avoiding mixing of litters after weaning and (S2) keeping purchased pregnant gilts separated from sows during gestation, farrowing and lactation. Both these strategies intended to reduce the occurrence of respiratory disease in finishing pigs at slaughter gave an average gain in annual net income (33,805 SEK in S1 and 173,160 SEK in S2, equal to 3,146€ and 16,113€, respectively, at the time of analysis), indicating that both were economically sustainable under the assumed conditions. The impact analysis of the two strategies revealed that the reduced prevalence of lung lesions when adopting one of the strategies was the most influential factor in net benefit change on the farm. Overall, the results suggest that with the increasing prevalence of lung lesions in Swedish pig production (as also observed worldwide in recent years), adopting an effective strategy to decrease respiratory infections will become more relevant and economically beneficial.


animal health; profitability; porcine; farrow-to-finish farms; meat inspection; pleurisy

Published in

Frontiers in Veterinary Science
2022, Volume: 9, article number: 957975