Serological Investigation of Three Australian Herds in Which SEW Failed to Control Respiratory Disease

Purdue University 1998 Swine Research Report. Segregated early weaning (SEW) is a term used to describe a management technology for producing high health status pigs from sow herds endemically infected with a multitude of disease agents with minimal use of vaccines and antibiotics. The theories behind SEW technology are not new, but have only recently been used together in such a manner that respiratory disease has been reduced and growth performance has been enhanced. This technology is being adopted across the world pig industry because of the improved performance of high health status pigs, which increases the producers competitive advantage. The theories behind SEW technology include the following. 1) Weaning age – Pigs weaned from their dams at less than 21 days benefit from high concentrations of colostral antibodies and are usually protected from colonization of infectious agents carried by their dams. Weaning ages vary for the control of transmission of specific diseases. 2) Biosecurity – Cleaning, disinfection, and other biosecurity measures are required to prevent disease agents present in the environment from being transmitted to growing pigs. 3) Segregation – Rearing batches of pigs (usually no more than 7 days age variation) all-in, all-out by room, building, or site is required. Facilities with the best segregation usually result in pigs with the highest health status. These theories are used in combination (SEW), such that producing high health status pigs is consistent and predictable.