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US Pork Industry Plan to Allow Continued Production in Presence of Disease

22 June 2017
Manitoba Pork Council

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US - Iowa's Agriculture Secretary says a plan being developed by the US pork industry will enable state animal health officials to allow pork production to continue in the presence of a foreign animal disease outbreak, Bruce Cochrane reports.

The US pork industry's Secure Pork Supply Plan for Continuity of Business is intended to provide a vehicle which, in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak, will allow producers in affected areas who's farms are free of infection to continue to operate.

Bill Northey, the Secretary of Agriculture with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, says the goal is allow the continued movement of healthy pigs in a way that does not increase risk.

Bill Northey-Iowa Agriculture Secretary

A couple of years ago we had avian influenza here in Iowa.

That was probably a billion dollar loss here in Iowa to our eggs and our turkeys.

As pork producers looked at that, as they've looked at outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease, other kinds of disease, they wanted to put together a plan and say what would we do if.

One of the pieces of this plan is a series of things a producer can do to that would allow them to be able to move their pigs because they can verify that their pigs are disease free.

We had that same situation in eggs.

We had some producers that did testing, could tell us what their mortalities were every day, could tell us their eggs were safe and that their birds were safe and that allowed us to be able to permit movement of their eggs to other locations.

In this case this does that same thing and being able to say, before we let a producer move pigs in an area where there might be a problem with the disease, we need to be sure that there's no disease so how can the producer help us know, in their operation, on how we can be sure that there's no disease on their farm.

Mr Northey says avian influenza was just one example of an infection that challenged biosecurity in new and different ways so it's important to improve biosecurity every day.

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