Fort Collins, Colo. — More than 69 percent of U.S. swine producers use a veterinarian, with five out of 10 large operations employing a DVM on
staff. Overall, approximately half the sites polled turn to a local practitioner for care.
That's according to a random sample of 5,000 swine producers surveyed in 17 states by the United States Department of Agriculture's
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Part 1 of the report, titled Swine 2006, was released at press time and
shows local practitioners make the most site visits to swine operations. On-staff veterinarians come in a close second, and
producers almost never employ state or federal veterinarians (see Table 1).
Nearly 25 percent of all sites were visited by a veterinarian five or more times in one year. By far, local practitioners
visit sites most frequently, the report says.
The most common reason veterinarians are called to swine operations is to perform individual pig treatments or surgeries,
including diagnostic services. Services such as the dispensing of drugs and vaccines rank a close second, coming in at 62.6
percent. A higher percentage of large sites used a veterinarian for blood testing, production record analysis, employee education
and quality assurance compared to small sites. Veterinarians are least frequently employed to provide pregnancy checking and
From December 2005 to May 2006, 61.4 percent of all sites polled in the report vaccinated pigs. The highest percentage of
sites regularly vaccinated against Mycoplasma and erysipelas at 40.4 percent and 39 percent, respectively. Producers vaccinated
swine regularly against ileitis and Salmonella. Swine were least regularly vaccinated against two types of swine flu, H3N2
and H1N1, the report says.