Improved Response to Disease Threats Expected

by 5m Editor
27 April 2012, at 8:00am

CANADA - The Canadian Swine Health Board says the establishment of a new national communication network for swine veterinarians will speed up the response to health threats within the Canadian swine industry, Bruce Cochrane writes.

To address gaps identified in swine health surveillance within the Canadian swine industry the Canadian Swine Health Board has initiated the development of the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network.

The network will use social media to allow swine veterinarians across the country to communicate regularly and share information when a new disease threat occurs.

Dr Dan Hurnik, the chair of the Canadian Swine Health Board's Long Term Disease Risk Management Committee and a member of the faculty of the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island, says when responding to disease timing is critical.

Dr Dan Hurnik-Canadian Swine Health Board

Our goal here is that this intelligence network will be a set of eyes that will pick up new trends early, so if you can identify something that's just starting, work with the biosecurity people to make specific recommendations to prevent its spread and make sure that information is known across the country, we can hopefully limit the spread of a disease that will cost the industry a lot of money.

Those are processes that, in the circovirus outbreak, we didn't have in 2005.

Each regional applied procedures and the time it took to organize meetings and plan a response plan, for example a meeting to speed up the development and distribution of a vaccine, took a long time to plan.

Hopefully, with the intelligence network that will recognize the problem sooner, that can coordinate meetings and take action where necessary, the response time will be much shorter and the industry will be served much better.

Dr Hurnik says years ago we didn't have the same ability to communicate quickly, efficiently and effectively and this new approach will hopefully improve Canada's ability to respond to disease threats.