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Multivariate analysis of traditional pig management practices and their potential impact on the spread of infectious diseases in Corsica

Relun A., Charrier F., Trabucco B., Maestrini O., Molia S., Chavernac D., Grosbois V., Casabianca F., Etter E., Jori F.. 2015. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 121 (3-4) : p. 246-256.

Corsica is a French Mediterranean island with traditional extensive pig farming oriented towards the production of high quality cured meat products. The increasing success of these cured products in continental Europe has triggered the development and organisation of an extensive pig farming industry. However, these pig farming practices have seldom been described and analysed to understand the potential risk of introduction and spread of infectious diseases. We conducted a cross-sectional study in Corsica in 2013 to characterise the main pig management practices and to identify groups of farms with similar practices and therefore homogeneous risk of introduction and spread of infectious diseases. We interviewed 68 pig farmers and investigated different farm management practices which could lead to contact between herds, such as trading animals, sharing pastures, feed and reproduction management (direct contacts), slaughtering and carcass waste management, and contacts with people and vehicles (indirect contacts). The practices were described and the farms grouped by multiple factor and hierarchical clustering analyses. Results revealed interesting patterns in the introduction and spread of infectious disease, such as the seasonality of pig production, the potential local spread of diseases in pastures due to the presence of free-ranging boars, carcasses, and animal waste. Multivariate analyses identified four groups of farms with different levels of risk of the spread of infectious disease, illustrating changes in farmers' customs from free-range uncontrolled farming systems to more controlled systems aimed at the production of high quality pork products. These results will be useful to more realistically simulate the spread of infectious diseases among Corsican pig farms and highlight the need for awareness raising campaigns among the stakeholders to reduce risky practices. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : enquête sur exploitations agricoles; facteur de risque; analyse multivariée; méthode statistique; maladie infectieuse; transmission des maladies; méthode d'élevage; sus scrofa; porcin; corse

Thématique : Maladies des animaux; Elevage - Considérations générales

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