Ambassador: Patrick Ryan, Ireland

Publication date: July 2020 | Theme: Health management

Challenges: Use of slaughter data to improve health outcomes

Production data exists in different ‘boxes’ or databases, from breeding to slaughter. The movement of this data from one box to another was done by farmers when they had time.

Using dashboards and visualisations of the data to help farmers make management decisions is becoming more common, increasingly in areas such as slaughter data, where significant benefits to productivity, health and welfare can be made through better use of data.

Training station on effects of biosecurity on pig health.

Routine data (lung and liver) from the slaughter plant was incorporated into a dashboard system to look at various production and management parameters on Patrick Ryan's farm, including: herd performance figures, biosecurity assessment, pluck (lungs and liver), tail check and antimicrobial benchmarking.

#Benchmarkyourfarm Report




  • Reduction in pleurisy (approx 15%)  and pericarditis (approx 5%) – Reduced losses at slaughter (approx 3%)
  • Weaner ADG has increased from 433 to 486g/day
  • Pigs weaned per sow/year – increase of 11.8%
  • Pigs reared per sow/year – increase of 14.2%
  • Pigs sold per sow/year – increase of 14.1%


  • Vet visits – These are routine and not an additional cost
  • Feed (Euro/kg live weight) – 0.73
  • Total costs (Euro/kg live weight) – 1.17

Innovation in practice

The main variables used for the dashboard are imported into an excel database to produce a report which allows for benchmarking and setting targets.

The main identified issue was the high levels of pleurisy and pericarditis, which the farmer did not realise were a problem. The dashboard changed his focus into control of these by better batch management, reduced mixing and creating separated streams for weak pigs. This resulted in improved performance via improved pig health and associated reduced use of antibiotics.

Farmers attending training station on recognition of lung lesions.

More about this best practice

To access more information, contact RPIG (Ireland): Ciaran Carroll