Assessing the relationship between farming practices, laboratory analyses and post-mortem findings: a case study in pig fattening
Rev Sci Tech Off Int Epizoot
European Union legislation on animal production associated with food safety requires the collection and management of information and data about the farm, the herd and the individual animal. This paper describes the technical steps of the generation, collection and interpretation of data from 296 pig-fattening farms, belonging to two farming associations and using indoor production systems (56 management parameters). The paper also describes post-mortem findings and the results of enzyme-linked
... immunosorbent assays (ELISA) for antibodies to salmonellae, Trichinella spp. and Yersinia spp. A total of nearly 30 million data points were collected and analysed for this study. The results of the ELISA were negative for Trichinella spp.; for salmonellae and Yersinia spp., both negative and positive results were obtained. Analysis of the farm management parameters showed no significant differences; therefore, the cut-off levels for salmonellae and Yersinia spp. were increased, in order to identify farms with a greater hygiene burden. Post-mortem findings, possibly related to 'farm hygiene', were used in the analysis. As a result, three farms with particular management decisions were identified as potentially having contributed to the high burden of pathogens detected using ELISA. A relationship between laboratory results and farm management parameters assessed from yes/no answers could not be established in this study without further work on the available data set.