With over 50 years of expertise in maintaining a High Health breeding pyramid, The ‘Hermitage Health Monitoring Programme’ is central to maintaining maximum biosecurity and herd health on all our Multiplication Units and AI Stations. As your chosen genetic partner, Hermitage veterinary personnel will consult directly with your veterinary advisor to optimize the integration of high performance Hermitage genetics into your operation in an efficient and biosecure manner. This brochure outlines the key components of the Hermitage Health Monitoring Programme, our aims and objectives and the routine testing which is carried out on our High Health nucleus units and AI stations.

National Disease Free Status of the Republic of Ireland

The fact that Ireland is an Island Nation, surrounded by sea, provides a natural barrier to the movement of animals which in turn benefits the biosecurity of the National pig herd. The table opposite lists the major pig diseases and their last recorded outbreak in Ireland. In addition to the statutory EU regulations on pig movements and health testing as regulated by the Irish Department of Agriculture, the Irish pig producers also implement a voluntary ‘secondline of defence’, which comprises a set of stringent guidelines laid down by the Irish Pig Health Council to further protect the health status of the Irish pig herd.

Hermitage have developed a Health Monitoring Programme for our nucleus breeding units and AI stations. The aims of this programme are as follows:

To apply one standard to all units in terms of disease monitoring. Implementation of the programme is carried out by a selected veterinary practice and a nominated veterinarian within that practice organises all relevant testing and surveillance visits.

To monitor on a continuous basis the health status of the pigs on all Hermitage nucleus and multiplication units and to document all health testing with the relevant certification.

To provide assistance and general advice in relation to the health status of each unit.

To continually update the programme with new technical developments in serological and post mortem assessments to ensure the most accurate health evaluation possible.

To optimise the health and welfare of Hermitage pigs on all breeding and multiplication units worldwide.

Irish Health Status in relation to major pig diseases
(Source: Department of Agriculture and Food, April 2010)

  • Disease Last Outbreak in Ireland
  • Foot and Mouth Disease 2001
  • Rinderpest 1877
  • African Swine Fever Never recorded
  • Classical Swine Fever 1958
  • Swine Vesicular Disease Never recorded
  • Vesicular Stomatitis Never recorded
  • Vesicular Exanthema Never recorded
  • PED (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea) Never recorded
  • Transmissible Gastroenteritis 1984
  • Teschen Disease Never recorded
  • Rabies 1903
  • Anthrax 1970
  • Brucella Suis Never recorded

Hermitage EU Licensed ISO9001 Approved AI Stations

Hermitage AI Stations are approved under the European Communities (Trade in Porcine Semen – Animal Health) Regulations, 1993, SI 242 of 1993, (Council Directive of 26th June 1990 laying down the animal health requirements applicable to intra-community trade in and imports of semen of domestic animals of the porcine species 90/429 EEC).

These Directives specify the isolation procedures and health testing required for intra-community trade. In addition to our EU licence, Hermitage also export semen to many other territories outside the EU including the United States of America, Asia and South America and additional tests are required for these territories in compliance with the specific requirements of the official Departments of Agriculture in the importing Countries.

All Hermitage AI Stations are supervised by a ‘Centre Veterinarian’, whose responsibilities include all routine health testing and monitoring at the studs and all certification of this monitoring prior to export of semen. The activities of the Centre Veterinarian are monitored by the Department of Agriculture for the Territory where the stud is situated and each Department is in turn monitored by European Union veterinary officials. All Hermitage AI stations are PRRSV negative.

Introduction of New Genetics:

New genetics are only introduced to the Hermitage Pyramid through the following methods:

• Isolation, Serological evaluation, Quarantine and Caesarean Section.
• Embryo recovery, washing (as per IETA regulations) and transfer.
• Frozen semen, Serological Evaluation and Quarantine.

Investment in biosecurity is paramount at Hermitage and High Health remains a corner stone in the Hermitage programme. If you would like any further information on the health monitoring programme in operation at Hermitage, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Hermitage Seaborough S.P.F. monitoring includes routine testing for the following:

• Aujeskys Disease
• P.R.R.S. (Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome)
• Enzootic Pneumonia
• Swine Influenza
• Actinobacillus Pleuropneumonia
• P.A.R.
• Swine Dysentery
• Streptococcal Meningitis
• Mange

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