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Kardítsa, Greece

Papatsiros V.G.,University ofThessaly | Tassis P.D.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Christodoulopoulos G.,University ofThessaly | Tsirigotakis G.,TUV HELLAS | Tzika E.D.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Journal of the Hellenic Veterinary Medical Society | Year: 2012

For many years, outdoor pig farming has been one of the most important livestock production sectors in Greece. Since the 1960s, the introduction of high-yielding pig genotypes, under intensive production systems, has replaced almost to disappearance the traditional -based on the native pig breed- outdoor pig farms. Organic pig production systems in Greece are growing in popularity over the last years due to the increasing interest of consumers for organic products. The National Greek projects for organic pig farming started in 2002 and since then it has increased, representing the 15% of total organic livestock production in 2007. According to the Directorate of Organic Agriculture in the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, the development of organic pig farming industry in West Greece, Thessaly and North Greece was impressive from 2002 to 2007. A significant but more gradual development of organic pig farming was seen in the island of Crete, while insignificant development was observed in the Central Greece. The development of organic pig farming especially in the Northern part of the country started from 2003-2004 onwards. In 2002, the total number of organic pigs was just 1.288, while in 2007 it had reached 175.000 organic pigs in the country. However, a significant reduction has been noticed since 2008, mainly due to the national funding cuts for organic pig farming, as well as the increase of feeding expenses. Moreover, training and specialization of organic pig farmers and their investments on modernization and equipment / housing facilities were insufficient, resulting in animal health problems, poor growth performance, poor carcass quality and high-cost production. The most common health problems in Greek organic pig farming are respiratory problems, gastrointestinal problems, claw and skin problems, parasitic infections and high piglet mortality. Increasing health problems were attributed mainly to poor housing conditions (predispose to various infectious micro-organisms), and the contact of organic pigs with rodents that act as tank of several pathogens (Trichinella spp and Toxoplasma gondii). The housing condition of organic farming may predispose animals to various infectious micro-organisms, normally no longer present indoors because of the strict hygienic measures that are taken. An important risk factor in organic pig production is the more frequent, compared with conventional swine industry, in contact with rodents. Rodents are actors - tank of several pathogens, some of which are hazardous to public health, such as Trichinella spp and Toxoplasma gondii. This report aims to present updated information about the health status, production and development of organic pig farming in Greece during the last decade, as well as the potential of this particular productive activity for future development.

Solomakos N.,University ofThessaly | Pexara A.,University ofThessaly | Govaris A.,University ofThessaly
Journal of the Hellenic Veterinary Medical Society | Year: 2012

Among the 30 species of the genus Vibrio, only 13 of them are pathogenic to humans. All pathogenic vibrios have been reported to cause foodborne diseases, although V. parahaemolyticus is considered the most important pathogenic Vibrio. V. parahaemolyticus is a halophilic bacterium that occurs naturally in aquatic environments worldwide. The pathogen caused sporadic diarrhoea mainly associated with the consumption of raw or undercooked seafood up to recent years. Since 1996, the incidence of V. parahaemolyticus infections has increased dramatically. V. parahaemolyticus is the leading cause of seafood-associated bacterial gastroenteritis in the United States and of the half foodborne outbreaks in some Asian countries. This increase in incidence has been related to the emergence of the 03:K6 serovar. The pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus strains can produce a thermostable direct hemolysin or a thermostable direct hemolysin-related hemolysin, which are encoded by the tdh and trh genes, respectively. Vibrio parahaemolyticus has not been included in the microbiological criteria of E. U. Food legislation, probably because the risk by this pathogen was considered rather low in Europe. However, climate changes favour the growth of the pathogen in seawater. Recent studies in Spain and France have shown that V. parahaemolyticus infections from seafood consumption have been increased. The emergence of the pathogen in Europe is of public health concern and emphasizes the importance of microbiological surveillance and control programs for V. parahaemolyticus.

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