The burden of Salmonella entering pig slaughterhouses across the European Union (EU) is considered a primary food safety concern. In order to assist EU Member States with the development of National Control Plans, we have developed a farm transmission model applicable to all Member States. It is an individual-based stochastic Susceptible-Infected model, that takes into account four different sources of infection of pigs (sows, feed, external contaminants such as rodents and new stock) and various management practices linked to Salmonella transmission/protection (housing, flooring, feed, All-In-All-Out production). A novel development within the model is the assessment of dynamic shedding rates. The results of the model, parameterized for two case study Member States (one high and one low prevalence) suggest that breeding herd prevalence is a strong indicator of slaughter pig prevalence. Until a Member States’ breeding herd prevalence is brought below 10% then the sow will be the dominant source of infection to pigs raised for meat production; below this level of breeding herd prevalence, feed becomes the dominant force of infection.
- transmission model
- stochastic Susceptible-Infected model
- European Union
- food safety