DATA Pig, a novel electronic recording system developed by Apiam Animal Health, is set to enhance the health, productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australia's pig herd.
Apiam and its team of swine veterinarians have spent four years and more than $1 million developing the technology and user-friendly delivery platform.
Successfully trialled in Western Australia, its nationwide rollout will assist pork producers, in partnership with their veterinarians, to upscale record keeping, enhance antimicrobial stewardship, better monitor pig health and treatments in real-time and improve quality assurance and compliance.
According to Apiam swine business manager Tom Harrison, Data Pig will accomplish this by more accurately recording medication administration, using PowerBI reports for real-time monitoring, integrating veterinary approved medication lists and generating APIQ compliant digital records.
The pen-side application synchronises with veterinary prescribed medication lists and provides accurate medical treatments and dosage instructions based on animal class, animal numbers and clinical signs of disease.
Antimicrobial usage data is stored on the Data Pig web-based platform and reported using programming software, which unites strategy and analytics.
Sam Weekes, as Apiam project manager for Data Pig, has been involved with the onfarm trials for the past year.
Dr Weekes said that Data Pig's user-friendly technology, including real-time visibility of treatment data, should see its ready acceptance and adoption by producers and their piggery workers.
"Apiam, WA Pork Producers Association and Pork Innovation WA have collaborated in a project funded by AgriFutures to enhance Data Pig's uptake in WA and I expect this will subsequently benefit Australia's antimicrobial strategy more broadly," Dr Weekes said.
"The project will also give valuable insight into technology adoption in piggeries.
"While sometimes onerous manual recording and frequent personal interaction with veterinarians has been the traditional pathway to satisfying regulatory and veterinary requirements, Data Pig now offers a refresh as a streamlined, remotely accessible electronic data recording system.
"Adopting Data Pig solves the dilemma posed by distance and isolation, while effectively bringing pork producers and their veterinarians closer together.
"They will now work in a more controlled, precise virtual workplace to ensure compliance and ultimately improve health, productivity and profitability of pig herds."
Dr Harrison said that Apiam Animal Health, as a leading national veterinary service provider with extensive swine experience, was focussed on shaping the best possible future for Australia's pig industry, which included delivering best practice animal health and welfare outcomes.
"Improving the health of our
clients' pigs and creating more productive workplaces for our clients is essentially what Apiam and Data Pig aims to do," he said.
"To achieve this, Data Pig comes with a suite of customisable reports to analyse health and production events, monitor trends and enhance biosecurity and surveillance systems.
"We are confident that the Data Pig platform will quickly become an essential part of the effective antimicrobial stewardship program that industry bodies and government demand.
"Of course, Apiam understands that adopting any new technology can be daunting for some, which is why we've worked hard to make Data Pig very user friendly.
"As part of this, it is being made available on a range of iOs and android devices, with seamless online and offline operation."