On Fumagalli pig farms, hygiene and health standards are extremely high.
The Italian pig farm is the first link in a highly specialized supply chain: rearing large pigs to create DOP and IGP cured meats accounts for 70% of entire pig production.
The requirements which companies must observe to be part of this system are a guarantee of safety and traceability, as well as quality, in the production process.
Thus we can talk about biosafety: the application of hygienic controls to prevent infection and control the spread of any disease in a herd.
The key factors of biosecurity include the location, the breeding plan, decontamination, the control of rodents and insects and the immunization of the animals.
“As far as the geographic location goes, for example,” outlines Paolo Santi, Director of Livestock at Nerviano Farm, part of the Fumagalli Group, “to reduce the risk of infection there must be at least 15km between farms. This makes it easier to contain an epidemic should it ever occur and help to avoid spreading infection from one area to another.”
Where sows are reared, controls reach very high levels, with compulsory cleaning for people, vehicles and feed. “On our farms,” adds Paolo Santi, “the vehicles we rely on are those that ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and they can only enter the plants on Monday morning. Those carrying feed must not move for at least 72 hours after making their last delivery and undergoing cleaning. In this way, even residual bacteria are eliminated because the longer the wait, the lower is the risk of transmitting pathogens.”
The Nerviano Farms are totally enclosed, thus separating outside areas (potentially more dirty) from internal ones, which are clean and safe. Supplies can only be delivered outside, and the same is true for pigs being taken to slaughter.
As for the staff who access the company site, there are strict rules that must be followed: “Before entering, everyone must shower and wear special clothes. Even vets cannot come in unless they respect the 72-hour break from their last contact with animals, in order to avoid the risk of infection. The same goes for the technical staff. And those who work with animals on one particular farm, for example, cannot carry out any other work and / or move from one plant to another.” Finally, in Nerviano, the rule is “completely full and completely empty”: the pigs being reared are all the same age and when they complete the fattening cycle they leave the farm simultaneously, which undergoes a total cleaning process and a guaranteed break of at least five days.