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Vet. Res.
Volume 31, Number 1, January-February 2000
Page(s) 150 - 151
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2000) 150-151
Vet. Res. 31 (2000) 150-151

Development of a computerised system for animal health management as a part of an eradication program of Aujeszky's disease

V. Auvignea, T. Bertheb, M. Cadouc, G. Laudrend, A. Kergourlaye and D. Taraudf

a  Association INFOPORC, BP 6613, 35066 Rennes Cedex, France
b  Direction des Services Vétérinaires des Côtes d'Armor
c  ARSOE de Bretagne
d  Association Régionale Interprofessionelle Porcine de Bretagne
e  Etablissement Départemental de l'Elevage du Morbihan
f  Union des groupements de Producteurs de Viande de Bretagne

Abstract - Brittany is the main pig production area in France. About 14 million fatteners are produced a year in this province. There are 9200 farms holding about 690 000 sows. Farrow-to-finish herds are prevalent, representing half of the farms and 70% of the production. More than 4 million piglets are transported per year. An eradication program for Aujeszky's disease is currently in action. The key points of this program are: (1) yearly general serological screening; (2) quarterly blood testing of nucleus and multipliers herds (these herds cannot sell boars and gilts if they are not AD free); (3) compulsory vaccination; (4) a special authorisation needed to move piglets out of non-AD free farms is given by veterinary services. This program involves many organisations. There are four Regional State Veterinary Services (DSV) which are the governmental services at the department level. They manage the eradication plan. Four Departmental Stockfarming Establishments (EDE) are the professional farming bodies with statutory responsibility for identifying stock farms. Twenty-one producer groups (gathering 90% of the farmers and 98% of the fatteners), federated into a union - the UGPVB - organise most transport of piglets, gilts and fatteners. Their importance is a strong characteristic of pig production in Brittany and a key point to understanding the way INFOPORC was built. In addition there are 8 testing laboratories which perform all the serological analyses and 300 field veterinarians. To perform the eradication plan, all the organisations involved have to share information. In particular, a single register of all pig farms, classifying farms according to their health status, identifying animal movement, and producing trend charts and maps is needed. The aim of the INFOPORC information system is to manage all this information, quickly and reliably. The "Association Régionale Interprofessionnelle Porcine" (ARIP) has undertaken, under the general supervision of the French Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to devise, develop and introduce this pilot computerised network for animal health management of pigs. Role of each partner within INFOPORC: The architecture is based on the general principle of a central site and distributed applications. With the exception of the veterinarians, all the active participants connected to the network have a dedicated microcomputer connected to the central. The reference site for the system is the "INFOPORC Node", which is situated in the premises of a specialised computer centre called ARSOE. This site manages the INFOPORC reference database in which the following data are stored: basic data for the INFOPORC system (contact people, livestock farms, etc.), historical records of events managed in INFOPORC (transport, health situation), and data shared or exchanged between different connected computers. All exchanges of information between the different applications integrated into the system are managed by the INFOPORC Node. Each distributed application is linked to the central site by a daily file-exchange procedure. This approach is suited to allow gradual extension of the system. The status of Aujeszky's disease, managed by the DSVs, is transmitted to the producer's groups before transporting pigs in order to check the status of the farms of origin and requirements concerning the introduction of pigs into the farms at destination. After the transport, data entered by the producers groups are automatically transmitted to DSVs. It is therefore possible at any time to search: (1) for the origin or destination of pigs from a given farm (or a given area); (2) for a complete list of transport operations by a given operator; (3) For all herds in a given radius using a Geographical Information System linked to the database. INFOPORC has been in action in the field since May 1998. At present, all movements of piglets (from breeder to finisher or intermediary) are recorded. There are now about 2000 transports registered per month for a total of $400\, 000$ piglets. Historical records of all movements are kept for 5 years. Even if computers will never eradicate any virus, INFOPORC is a useful tool, probably an essential one, for the management of an eradication scheme within a high density pig production area like Brittany. Moreover, such a system will be useful not only for Aujeszky's disease, but also to prevent Classical Swine Fever and other epidemics and to manage Integrated Quality Systems.

Corresponding author: V. Auvigne Tel.: (33) 2 99 65 03 01; fax: (33) 2 99 30 15 34;

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2000