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Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Paul O, May 1, 2005.
Does anyone know if pigs can get trichinosis from rooting in pastures, as in free range?
yes they can, if the pasture is infected. Part of the life cycle of the critter is not inside animals
Bear with me. I have copied this from a book printed in America and basically for American conditions.
Trichinosis: A parasitic disease of swine and humans caused by the microscopic nematode worm, Trichinella spiralis, which burrows into the animals flesh. It is usually caused in humans by eating infested raw or undercooked pork and wild game. It is most prevalent where uncooked garbage (containing the worms) is fed to swine, especially if rats, which can be infected and eaten by swine as well, are also present. After being consumed, the adult parasite produces numerous young in the host animal's intestines. The larvae migrate through the intestinal wall, into the bloodstream, and finally in the the animal's muscles. here, they grow to 1/25inch long, roll into a spiral shape and surround themselves with a capsule. They may live in this stage for years.
Trichinosis is difficult to diagnose in swine as it produces no symptoms except an occasional low-grade fever that may be confused with many other minor diseases. In humans, the disease sumptoms vary according to the degree of infestation. It is usually accompanied by fever, muscle swelling and pain, and digestive disturbances which begin about 2 weeks after eating the infected meat. Diagnosis in humans is made with a skin test.
Although this disease is nearly eradicated, prevention is still a prime concern of all pork producers. Begin by eliminating all rats on the farm. Then, cook all garbage at 212F for at least 30 minutes before feeding to your hogs. Finally, cook all pork products thoroughly before consuming.
If you are concerned about the possibility of trichinosis in your area, call on your local veterinarian for advice.
From that I would say you could safely free range your animals and use common sense when feeding both your pigs and yourself.
It certainly reinforces what many consider as my "old-fashioned" idea of cooking all waste that is to be fed to pigs.