Procedures for Swine Quarantine and Conditioning

Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine
Aug 15, 2016 12:00 am

To define the standard operating procedure for receiving, processing, and housing of swine at the University of Michigan for use in research.

  • Responsibility

    1. ULAM Animal Ordering Services: Responsible to ensure only approved vendors are utilized in the order, to print delivery schedules and cage cards containing all of the ordering specifications for the ordered swine, and to distribute these cage cards and delivery sheets to all relevant personnel prior to the arrival of the swine.
    2. ULAM Husbandry and Veterinary Personnel: Responsible for all receiving and quarantine procedures of newly arrived swine (unless previous arrangements have been made with the laboratory). This includes provision of all husbandry care and medical procedures (e.g, physical examinations and diagnostic tests).
      1. Large Animal Receiving Veterinary Technician: Holds primary responsibility for the coordination of swine arrival and processing.
  • Glossary Definitions

    Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) Purpose-Bred Swine

    Swine raised specifically for use in biomedical research, obtained from commercial vendors or another research colony. These swine are free of specific bacteria, viruses, and/or parasites, as delineated by the vendor.

    Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) Agricultural Swine

    Swine not raised specifically for use in biomedical research but for human consumption. These swine have been raised in a closed colony, with routine veterinary oversight and specific pathogen monitoring, and have a known vaccination history. These animals may still develop clinical infections, especially from those pathogens for which they are not "specifically free."

    Acute Use

    Animal involved in a study at the University of Michigan, which has a terminal endpoint within seven days of their arrival.

    Chronic Use

    Animal expected to remain at the University of Michigan facility for longer than seven days.

    Acclimation Period

    The time period provided to an animal after shipment to allow physiological and psychological stabilization prior to any experimental manipulation.

  • Procedures

    1. Arrival Procedures

    1. The veterinary technician performs a brief visual examination of all swine during off-loading from the transport vehicle.
      1. If any swine appears systemically ill upon arrival, efforts should be made to send the swine back to the vendor immediately. If unable to do so, place the animal into segregated housing, ideally into a separate room that is unoccupied.
      2. Promptly notify the resident or faculty veterinarian to examine the animal.
    2. Newly received swine are transported directly to the designated housing space.
      1. For additional guidance on transport cage sizing, see Procedures for Large Animal Receiving.

    2. Quarantine Procedures

    1. There is neither an official quarantine period nor a segregated quarantine housing area for newly arrived swine.
    2. Segregated housing:
      1. SPF Purpose-Bred swine must be housed separately from SPF Agricultural swine.
      2. Swine from different vendors should be housed separately, as the two sources may not be free from, or vaccinated for, the same porcine pathogens.
    3. Any outbreak of disease may necessitate a quarantine period, delineated by a ULAM veterinarian on a case-by-case basis. The veterinarian is responsible for releasing swine from quarantine upon completion of the designated holding period.

    3. Processing

    1. Assign each swine a clinical number and record the clinical number on the cage card at the time of arrival.
    2. All swine receive a brief visual examination. Document and communicate noted abnormalities or illness in accordance with the Animal Care Identification and Communication Procedures.
    3. Swine received from out-of-state vendors are accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI).
      1. Place a copy of the CVI in the investigator's  medical record folder for that year.
      2. Mail the original copy to the Animal Care and Use Office.
    4. Record the following phenotypic data on the cage card and in the medical record:
      1. Sex
      2. Numeric identification, if present, including the ear tag number and/or the ear notch number
      3. Body weight (kg)
    5. Provide all swine with ad libitum water and feed according to the Pig Husbandry SOP.

    4. Housing

    1. House swine in groups or pairs whenever possible. Monitor the groups or pairs for compatibility or the development of aggression.
    2. Swine may be individually housed when clinically or scientifically justified.
      1. If possible, individually housed swine must have visual, olfactory, and auditory contact with conspecifics.
    3. All swine should receive a 48-72 hour acclimation period prior to use in experiments, allowing for physiologic recovery from transportation.
      1. A longer acclimation period (7+ days) should be considered for recently weaned piglets.

    6. Medical Treatment & Costs

    1. Chronic use swine may receive a physical examination by the area veterinary resident within 2 days after arrival, if requested by laboratory personnel.
    2. Treatments may be provided at the discretion of the ULAM veterinarian based on the animal's medical history.
    3. The Principal Investigator bears the cost of any necessary treatment upon the animal's arrival, as well as for any tests or additional diagnostics/treatments that are performed, unless otherwise agreed upon with ULAM administration.
      1. ULAM Veterinary Personnel are responsible for attaining permission from the PI prior to initiating non-emergency treatment.
Species: Swine

Questions or concerns about the content of this document should be directed to the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) at (734) 764-0277 or