Pork producers must develop and follow biosecurity plans that consider all disease pathways
North American pig farmers can help to reduce the risk of a foreign animal disease entering their operations by thinking globally and acting locally.
Dr. Paul Sundberg, executive director of the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC), shared these words of wisdom in a Farmscape article
today. The SHIC “continues to track the movement of swine diseases, including reportable diseases such as African swine fever (ASF), Classical swine fever (CSF), and foot-and-mouth Disease (FMD), which have the potential of disrupting trade,” the article said.
Biosecurity is key to preventing swine diseases from affecting new farms, Sundberg said in the article.
“The most effective way that we can prevent introduction of any of these viruses into our pigs is to have effective biosecurity on the farm,” he said.
Pay attention to anything, or anyone, coming onto a farm that is from or has had contact with a country where diseases are endemic, Sundberg told Farms.com today.
“That’s not just foreign visitors,” he said. “It might be lunch brought in by someone working on the farm who has just been to one of these countries or was visited by someone from one of these countries. Educate employees about biosecurity. Then implement and enforce them, every day, 24/7. That’s prevention.”
Be attentive to the first sign of infection to prevent it from spreading, Sundberg said.
“Anytime there is a mortality event on the farm, get a professional diagnosis through your veterinarian. Don’t assume that you know what happened. Foreign animal diseases can look like diseases that we have in the industry now. Getting a professional diagnosis will help with quick identification, quick response and limiting the spread.”
SHIC researchers are also looking at the possibility of a foreign animal disease entering North America in feed, as ASF, CSF and FMD pose significant risks to the North American pork sector. SHIC is working in conjunction with the National Pork Board to study the ability of oral dosing in feed to transmit ASF and possible ways to mitigate that, Sundberg explained in a previous Farms.com article
For a full list of swine disease SHIC fact sheets, click here
To learn about SHIC’s Emerging Disease Communications Action Plan, which helps producers respond to emerging swine diseases, click here
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