IFASA 2016 Highlights
The 11th IFASA-congres
was held in Helsinki. There were around 150 participants from all over the
world. Here we will present our highlights. The veterinarians from Ampart can
discuss the matters in more detail during their next farm visit.
Footrot (Fur Animal
Footrot epidemics are
reported from all over the word and is one of the diseases with the highest
impact at the moment. A lot is still unclear regarding the causal factors of
footrot and in which way you can combat this disease. The last years a few
bacteria have constantly been associated with the presence of footrot wounds.
The presented researched focused on the bacteria Arcanobacterium phocae and
Spreading of bacteria
Finnish research showed
results of the spread of the footrot bacterium A. phocae on an infected farm.
Samples were taken from mink and on many different places in the farm. They
could show the presence of the bacteria on throat swabs of healthy mink. The
bacteria seem to spread very easily from infected cages to neighbouring cages.
They could also show the presence of the bacteria in the catching gloves, but
not on the feeding machines. Also the possibility exists that the bacteria are
spread via rats and mice, but more samples need to be analysed to validate this
statement. Follow-up studies will
focus on the development of an effective decontamination protocol.
showed that experimental infection with the two known footrot bacteria cause
footrot-like wounds in mink. It seems that the combination of A. Phocae and S.
halichoeri is necessary to cause the wounds. In their research they infected
mink in three ways, by injecting the bacteria in a self-made wound on the leg
- Only with
- Only with
- Infect with both
Exposure to both bacteria
led to a wound after three days similar to footrot-wounds. The animals became
very sick and were directly euthanized. The animals exposed to one of the bacteria
did not develop these characteristics wounds of footrot. In Finland similar
research was done (not presented). They told they found similar results in
Outbreak in Denmark
In 2015 a large
outbreak of AD occurred in Denmark. A large number of farms has pelted down
their mink. The coming period will show if they managed to keep the spreading
of the infection under control. To gain more insight where this infection
originated from, they looked into the strain-type of this AD virus and compared
it to strains present in other countries. It is concluded that
the large outbreak on Jutland and Funen (the so-called ‘Holstebro’ outbreak)
was caused by a single strain, with no known connection to other strains world
wide. The date indicate that spreading/introduction via the feed is most
likely. The outbreak in
Sealand is also an unique cluster, with a possible link to Sweden.
Research from Spain
focused on giving insight into the spread of AD-virus within the farm. And how
you can adapt your hygiene protocol. Simple coveralls do not give sufficient
protection, as the clothes underneath became virus positive. Also shoe covers
seem insufficient. It is advisable to
critically check the current hygiene protocol on the farm if it minimizes the risk
of AD virus entry.
Selection of AD resistant animals
A Canadian researcher
presented a bold statement that the usage of the current AD ELISA is not good
enough to select AD resistant animals. He has developed an alternative test.
Hereby they analyze the ratio of immunoglobulins in blood, as this value better
predicts if animals develop disease after AD-infection. We shall inform you in
the future more about this new test.
A few presentations
dealt with the newest technologies which can be used for genetics. In other animal
sectors (e.g Dairy and Pigs) genomic selection is fully in use. Herefore they
make a map of all genetic material from animals with wanted characteristics (eg
size, health, and quality). When this info is known you can select your
breeding animals with a blood sample, without weighing or grading. De first
steps have now been made for the mink by assembly of the mink genome (all
genetic material). The next years this will be futher developed.
The Danish research
farms is doing research into the levels of different vitamins and minerals.
Without extra supplementation in the feed of minerals (like iron, copper and
selenium) the feed contained from the used ingredient sufficient levels of
these minerals (compared to the current norm levels). Zinc was at the border
level of the norm. The evidence is
increasing that the concentration of vitamins in the feed can also be unnecessary
too high. A study showed consequences of different levels of vitamins in the
Analysis of mortality
The Danish research
farm was curious why they noticed large difference in mortality between their
brown and black strain during the growth season (higher for the blacks). They
found that their black strain seemed quite sensitive for developing kidney and
testis inflammation. These results show that it is useful to analyse the causes
of mortality on the farm. These info can be used to adapt the breeding plan.
when the surroundings of the animals do not comply with their needs. By
selecting on this behavior you can lower the number of animals with this behavior.
There are different stereotypies known in mink. Canadian research focused on
the question if compulsive scratching towards the side-panel of the cages is a
form of stereotypy in mink. The looked into the relation between compulsive scratching
of males and the presence or absence of males in the neighboring cages. They
showed that males with this behavior focused on the cage with a male present.
The behavior was less shown if the neighboring male was removed. They concluded
that compulsive scratching is different from other stereotypies. It could be
playing behavior or defense of their territory.
It is known that mainly the first
days after whelping the biggest mortality of pups is registered. With the usage
of video recordings of deliveries, they showed that the nest average is lowered
from 9.6 pups born to 6.2 live pups after seven days. A large study is
performed to see how they can reduce this mortality. The focus of the presented
research was on testing a combination of nest insertion (stone or pressed
straw) in combination with straw (with wool) or easy stroe. With the usage of
straw they noticed lower mortality in the first week with the pressed straw
insertion than with a stone. The reason for this is probably the better nest
climate. More research will focus on what should be the best nest climate:
which temperature and humidity, and which nesting materials together provide
the best structure.