Depopulation/Repopulation Protocols


Science points -


Negative stock is commercially available

The pathogen does not exist naturally in the environment or locally common wild animals

The pathogen can be eliminated from the contaminated building easily/quickly by routine cleaning

Standard downtimes


This depends on the diseases to be eliminated.  For instance with Brachyspira hyodysenteriae (Swine Dysentery) it should be a minimum of 8 weeks

For routine restock 6 weeks would be the suggested minimum



Depopulation means total removal of all pigs and their products from the farm for the downtime period

Depopulation procedures


Rodent control should start and be vigorous.  Place water near baits to encourage intake


Pig Flow – calculate the required pig flow model to allow the farm to legally maximise its output.  Aim where possible to achieve all-in/all-out in all parts of the farm, in particular the finishing area.  Consider all possibilities including batch farrowing to achieve all-in/all-out


Obviously as animals are sold, buildings become empty and they are to be cleaned and repaired as they become empty


Run down all stocks of medicines, feed and disposables


It will probably be necessary to arrange stockperson schedules to ensure that ‘dirty’ stockpeople do not enter ‘cleaned buildings’

Cleaning protocols


Ensure Pressure Washing is carried out adequately


But also note in addition:


Pay particular attention to the removal of all faecal material. The building should be brushed down thoroughly and then dry cleaned using a knife and scrape to remove all visible faeces.  The small amounts should be removed with a dustpan and brush.  This has to be very thorough and on your hands and knees


Remove dust by vacuuming where possible


Areas of particular note – pigs have long tongues

Under and around gate posts and gates

Corners at the back of pens

Around fittings i.e. farrowing crates

Under drinkers and troughs

Where cracks and holes exit in the concrete


Repair all large cracks and holes in concrete by

Cleaning out where possible

Pouring in a suitable disinfectant

Once dry repair by screeding over with concrete


All wooden partitions and removable objects should be soaked in disinfectant for a period of 3 to 5 days using metal baths.  Place outside in sunlight to dry


Drain and clean the slurry channels and pits.  Remove all available faeces.  Sometimes this is impractical but it is essential to clean to 30 cm below the removable slats


Ideally lime wash all surfaces especially up to 2 metres in height and spray with a disinfectant using a knap sack sprayer into the ceiling and loft areas.


Ensure that the water supplies are adequately disinfected


Repair all equipment to the necessary standards



Ensure adequate flow is obtainable from all drinkers.  This may necessitate replacement of all pipelines.  Ensure water pressure adequate around the system


Ensure all ventilation system are thoroughly cleaned.  All fans must be checked that they perform as required.  Repaint all the blades.  Check fan speeds with a tachometer and volt meter


All floors must be none abrasive.  All sharp points are to be removed or covered.   Note worn doorways, concrete under water points and around feeders, in particular wet feeding systems.  All holes and cracks are to be repaired.  Worn rough slats to be repaired or replaced


Ensure all feeders work as required.  All old food needs to be thoroughly removed and sharp edges smoothed.  Any holes repaired and if feeder’s leak and cannot be repaired they must be thrown away.  Feed is the major cost and any waste should be avoided


Bird proof all buildings where possible – future Salmonella controls

Cleaning protocols when farm empty


Ensure unit perimeter secure

Finish cleaning the last building

Dispose of all medicines, needles and syringes.  This should include all medicines

Remove all disposables from the farm, including all feed.  Empty all feed hoppers and feed bins.  Ideally all feed should have been eaten


Ensure all surfaces are cleaned.  This must include the fridge, chemical store, feed stores, changing rooms and staff room

Midden area

Spread all the midden materials and lagoons and slurry store

The soil within the proximity of the midden area has faeces still remaining from the old unit.  Skin off this area to a depth of 80 cm.  Spray the soil with a suitable disinfectant and then rescree over the 80 cm of soil

Straw and other bedding

Old straw remaining from the old unit should be moved and disposed off as this can harbour mice/rats from the old unit

Dogs and cats

Discuss dog and cat protocols.  Treatment may be required depending on the diseases to be eradicated


Ensure all tractors and equipment, in particular muck spreading and bob cats, are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected


Burn all straw and used bedding

Dispose of all brushes, shovels and scrapes

Dispose of all overalls, boots and protective clothing

Purchase clothing for the new clean unit

Farm clean protocols


Pressure wash all buildings


Lime wash all buildings


Fumigate all buildings


Seal all buildings as each building becomes clean


Dispose of all clothing, boots and purchase new when whole farm finished

Once whole farm fumigated


Restore water supplies and check all drinkers work.  Note when water supplies cleaned deposits can block the drinkers


Ensure rodent controls are maintained particularly at the perimeter of the farm

New stock introduction and biosecurity protocols


The new stock require isolation procedures


Note biosecurity requirements these obviously vary depending on the health of the incoming stock.


Timetable for depopulation and repopulation – 1 week batch


Timetable for depopulation and repopulation – 3 week batch


To pathogen elimination