Animal emergencies illustrate need for disease traceability system

US - Recent cases of pseudorabies in Wisconsin swine and a weather emergency in Colorado have demonstrated in real life how premises registration can protect livestock producers, their animals and the livestock industry.
calendar icon 8 June 2007
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The need for producers to participate in premises registration is more evident in light of these recent events.

“During the pseudorabies investigation, farms that were registered could be directly contacted and the animals were quickly tested,” said Dr. Robert Ehlenfeldt, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) state veterinarian. “We had to go door to door to locate animals at unregistered premises, which slowed down our ability to test for the disease.”

As part of the Wisconsin Premises Registration Act, livestock owners in Wisconsin have registered over 56,000 premises. The goal of the system is to have a comprehensive database of names, phone numbers and species locations to provide animal health officials with a tool to rapidly locate and contact owners of affected premises that may have been exposed to a contagious disease.

Mike Salter, a pork producer from Black Creek, says the system is having a positive impact. “Pork producers appreciated the direct notification about pseudorabies,” he said. “It shows us that the premises registration program is doing what it was intended to do n protect our $120 million pork industry here in Wisconsin.”

Premises registration is generating positive results in other states. During snow storms this past winter, Colorado officials used premises data to locate and contact livestock owners in areas affected by the blizzards. Emergency responders were then able to quickly find out who needed help and what help was needed.

Premises information provides value to owners of both food and non-food livestock animals.
“Wisconsin’s livestock industry and producer organisations realise that, in order to protect their livelihood and the economic viability of the state’s livestock sector, it is important to implement safeguards to protect from the accidental or deliberate introduction of a foreign animal disease,” explains Dr. Paul McGraw, DATCP’s assistant state veterinarian.

Source: The Dunn County News

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