The purpose of a hospital pen on the pig farm, as its name implies, is to provide a comfortable environment in which to treat ill pigs and give them a good chance of recovery, says ACMC veterinary consultant, Paul Thompson. Pigs with no hope of recovery should not enter the pen but instead be euthanised humanely. He says the commonest concerns seen on the farm are:• Pens which contain too many recovered pigs. These animals should be moved on into recovery pens to give fresh cases adequate feed, water and space.
• Pens where there is no system of tracking the time pigs have spent in the pen —they need regular reassessment, or euthanasia, if not making progress.
• Continued occupancy without cleaning and disinfection. These are the most contaminated pens on the farm so need regular cleaning!