Fogging low concentrated organic acid in a fattening pig unit – Effect on animal health and microclimate

Heiko Stein 1,  
Jochen Schulz 2,  
Nicole Kemper 2,  
Ines Krauss 1,  
University Clinic for Swine, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Institute for Animal Hygiene, Animal Welfare and Farm Animal Behaviour, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Hannover, Germany
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Ann Agric Environ Med 2016;23(4):581–586
[b]Introduction and objective.[/b] In intensive pig production aerial contaminates are potential hazards for the health of animals and humans. In this study, the effect of fogging a low concentrated tartaric acid solution on pigs’ health, environmental and hygiene parameters were evaluated in an inhabited fattening unit. [b]Materials and method.[/b] Pigs were housed in separate units (control group n=109 and experimental group n=110). During the whole fattening period, twice a week at 48 hour intervals, a 0.1% tartaric acid solution was aerosolized by a cold-fogging system for 20 minutes in the experimental unit. Environmental parameters were spot-checked on days of fogging. Sedimentation dust and surfaces were analysed for bacterial and fungal load. Dust particle size distribution was assessed. Pigs were clinically examined weekly. Standard meat examination at an abattoir was extended by individual quantification of lung alterations. [b]Results. [/b]The fogging procedure had no influence on ammonia concentrations. A significant reduction of mould, but not of bacteria, was found in sedimentation dust, and bacterial and mould scores of surface samples were improved. A significant reduction of particle size classes 1.6–2.0 µm, 4.0–5.0 µm, 7.5–10 µm, as well as 10–15 µm was observed. The high sound level of the fogging machine (82–102 dB) led to higher activity and pen-mate directed behaviour. More skin alterations, conjunctivitis and sneezing were recorded in the experimental group. Gross pathological lung alterations did not differ between both groups. [b] Conclusions.[/b] Although fogging of tartaric acid is limited to a concentration of 0.1% due to its irritating effect on the respiratory mucosa, reduction of microbial load can be achieved, but it would be enhanced by using more powerful fogging systems.