By Bruce Cochrane
The National Pork Producers Council says accurate information on the number and distribution of PED cases will be important in maintaining access to foreign markets for U.S. pork.
Last week, at World Pork Expo, U.S. agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new PEDv program which includes mandatory reporting of active cases and federal government support for vaccine development, to assist producers in developing and implementing on farm biosecurity and to identify pathways through which disease can enter the U.S.
National Pork Producers Council president Dr. Howard Hill says, with regards to mandatory reporting, the main concern is with confidentiality.
Dr. Howard Hill-National Pork Producers Council:
Producers have been impacted by the release of data from EPA and sometimes people don't differentiate EPA from USDA.
They say they're both government institutions or groups.
But the secretary emphasised an issue that is very very important.
We export about 26 percent of our product last year and we've had some countries that have closed their borders to live swine.
We haven't had any major trading partner refuse to take pork but it's a potential and we have to obviously protect that market because it's so important to us.
When they're in an international trade meeting and they can't tell you how many herds there are it doesn't make them look very intelligent so I think having a better handle on where the cases are and how many there are will add some credibility to them when they're dealing with international partners.
Dr. Hill says producers have been assured that any information released for epidemiological purposes will be aggregated everything possible will be done to keep their personal information confidential and they're trusting that will be the case.