Pleurisy in pigs is an important health issue for both production units and processing plants, says the British Pig Executive (BPEX).

It quotes research at Cambridge University's Veterinary School in the UK that found a cost of £2.26 (about US$3.62) per pig to the producer from reduced carcass weight and increased age at slaughter.

This figure is based on an average pig within a batch that has a pleurisy prevalence of 10%, the bulletin noted. Bearing in mind that some batches can have a prevalence greater than 10%, the cost can be even greater.

Further costs are incurred at the processing stage because the abattoir has to carry out extra trimming due to the fact that pleurisy causes the pleural lining around the lungs to become inflamed and stick to the chest wall. According to the UK research, the effect on line speed in the slaughterhouse and increased disposal charges can cost another £0.29 (US$0.46) per pig.