Thesis Levallois Pierre

Levallois Pierre

Design and assessment of tailor-made health plans on commercial pig farm

Abstract :

Animal health differs between farms. Health plan, a set of recommendations to enhance health, should thus be tailor-made to each farm. This thesis aims at describing how to design and to assess a tailor-made health plan on commercial pig farms. The interest in hair cortisol, a potential biomarker to assess animal health and welfare, was also explored. An
intervention including a longitudinal follow-up on 20 farrow-to-finish pig farms in western France was carried out. Plans were conceived for each farm and indicators were measured to assess plans’ effectiveness. The selection of tailor-made
biosecurity recommendations was characterized by modalities of prioritization. Seven methods were used to assess plans’ effectiveness. The majority of plans was effective to enhance health on farms. Three insights were learnt assessing plans’ effectiveness: 1) compliance should be the first effectiveness indicator, 2) indicators and their monitoring modalities
should be tailored to the targeted health disorders, 3) complementary indicators should be combined to holistically assess health evolution. The variability of hair cortisol concentration was described in 950 finishing pigs. The results of this thesis could be useful for future effectiveness assessment of tailormade health plans on commercial pig farms and to keep exploring the interest in hair cortisol.


health plan, biosecurity, formulation of recommendations, compliance, effectiveness, hair cortisol

Modification date : 05 December 2023 | Publication date : 05 December 2023 | Redactor : ML