6. PIG SICK – DISEASES ON FACTORY FARMS
Disease is running rife through Britain’s pig factory farms. This means that animals are suffering sometimes excruciating pain, and that powerful drugs are given through most of the pigs’ lives. Filthy conditions, overcrowding and stress all ensure that factory farms remain bug infested.
Pigs housed on factory farms are susceptible to a number of different diseases which can spread rapidly within and between herds. Highly infectious exotic diseases, such as foot and mouth disease, Classical Swine Fever (CSF) and African Swine Fever, are controlled in many countries by national eradication programmes, in which all pigs in any herd where the disease is detected are killed and their carcasses buried or burnt to prevent disease-spread. Other, less serious diseases exist endemically within herds where their effects on health and welfare can be minimised. Many of these diseases, such as Enzootic Pneumonia (EP), Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome (PRRS), erysipelas, Escherichia coli, and Post-Weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS), are controlled by routine vaccines.
For many respiratory and enteric diseases, their prevalence gets worse when animals are poorly housed.