Farming is a 365-day job, and the responsibility of animal care is shared by each individual involved — from owners to managers, to animal caretakers, to the drivers who transport pigs. Each is accountable for demonstrating a commitment to responsible pig farming.
A pork producer’s partnership with a veterinarian is one of the most important factors to the daily wellbeing of pigs. The role veterinarians play in the day-to-day operations of a modern pig farm has evolved beyond mainly treating sick animals and diagnosing disease and treatment. The level of services provided can range, depending on the day, from consulting on specific issues of concern to planning and construction of a new farm or barn.
Some of the ways swine veterinarians help producers give herds the best quality of life possible are:
- Making sure that new moms and newborn pigs eat enough to recover from delivery
- Overseeing implementation of ventilation systems to ensure pigs are as comfortable as possible
- Using and controlling medicines to treat sick animals
- Assessing each sow to make feed recommendations
- Communicating with producers to address any problems their herd might be having
- Testing for viruses and administering vaccinations
- Overseeing herd health management plans
Veterinarians can be employed by larger farming businesses, hired as individual consultants or contracted through the services of a specialty practice.