Preparing for a Foreign Animal Disease Outbreak in Swine Production

Jul 27, 2023


Preparing for a Foreign Animal Disease outbreak continues to be one of the most discussed topics in the pork industry.  With African Swine Fever as close as the Dominican Republic and Haiti, it has never been more important for pork producers to have a plan in the event of an outbreak.  A 2020 Iowa State University study estimates an ASF outbreak in the United States would mean an economic loss of 50 billion dollars over 10 years if not eradicated.  

If we experience an African Swine Fever, producers will face the following:

  • Halt to all exports of pork and pork products
  • 50% drop in hog prices
  • A mandatory 72 hour stop movement of all swine
  • Culling of herds in containment zones
  • 100% fatality rates in infected herds

While these results would be catastrophic there are tools in place to prepare, prevent, and minimize the effects of a Foreign Animal Disease outbreak. To protect your herd from an outbreak we must focus on three areas which include biosecurity, traceability, and surveillance. Preparing ahead of time  can greatly diminish the impacts of an outbreak. The biosecurity plan and traceability of swine movements will help speed up the  ability to get back to normal as quickly as possible.  

The Secure Pork Supply Plan 

We have been repeatedly educated on the benefits of a sound biosecurity plan for your operation.  Estimates from $2 to $10 per head can be saved by preventing disease from entering your operation. A tool funded by USDA and Pork Checkoff in The Secure Pork Supply Plan(SPS) will develop a business plan that provides opportunities to voluntarily prepare before an outbreak. This will better position pork premises with animals that have no evidence of infection to:

  • Limit exposure of their animals through enhanced biosecurity,
  • Move animals to processing or another pork production premises under a movement permit issued by Regulatory Officials, and
  • Maintain business continuity for the swine industry, including producers, haulers, and packers during an FMD, CSF, and ASF outbreak.

To enroll in the program, go to 


For traceability the National Pork Board has free software available to producers.  alled AgView. This software securely stores premise identification, all pig movements to the farm, to other destinations, the number in shipment, and the shipment type. The data includes the company name, site name, premise identification number, 911 addresses, latitude, longitude, site capacity, and emergency contact information. Being able to provide pig movement records to state animal health officials will assist the pork producer in obtaining animal movement permits after the 72 hour stop movement order.  To create an account, go to

US Swine Health Improvement Plan

The final resource in a pork s Foreign Animal Disease preparedness plan is enrollment in the US Swine Health Improvement Plan (US SHIP). Modeled after the National Poultry Improvement Plan, which has been crucial during the high path avian influenza outbreak, US SHIP is an industry, state, and federal partnership for improving preparedness across the pork industry. US SHIP aims to establish a national playbook of standards to provide a uniform approach to disease prevention, response, and recovery.  US SHIP certification will be held at the individual farm site as well as slaughter facilities. The standards center on biosecurity, traceability, and testing. 

To be certified one must contact the official state agency.  In Wisconsin, the official state agency is Wisconsin Pork Association. Their contact information can be found at For enrollment a producer will need facility premise information, complete a biosecurity survey, and demonstrate at least 30 days of animal movement information. After certification, agree to meet or exceed the standards and requirements for certification.  For more information on the US Swine Health Improvement Plan go to  

Being prepared and ready to act in the event of an outbreak can be a substantial benefit to your profitability and health of your swine herd. There is some overlap in the programs that will help with completing enrollment in all the programs.  The websites offer valuable information to assist in making your farm prepared for a Foreign Animal Disease Outbreak. 

Contact your Extension Swine Outreach Specialist 

As your University of Wisconsin Division of Extension Swine Outreach Specialist, I have been closely involved in understanding the programs and am more than willing to assist you in developing your plan.  

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