Improved Response to New Swine Disease Threats

by 5m Editor
7 May 2012, at 11:10am

CANADA - A national communications network being created on behalf of the Canadian swine industry is expected to improve the ability of swine veterinarians to respond to new disease threats, writes Bruce Cochrane.

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

Project Manager Dr Chris Byra, with Greenbelt Swine Veterinary Services, one of a group of companies involved in the initiative, explains the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network is a social network supported by data collected from swine practices which will allow veterinarians to discuss problems from across the country.

Dr Chris Byra-Greenbelt Swine Veterinary Services

The Swine Health Intelligence Network will be made up of veterinary practitioners that deal with swine only or primarily swine, some epidemiologists that are involved with provincial government labs, universities, etcetera that have an interest in this and the Canadian Swine Health Board itself will be a part of this.

Producers of course are indirectly part of this in that their practitioner represents them.

Practitioners, it will very rapidly improve their learning curve when a new disease occurs but it'll also give them a better understanding of what disease control methods are working because now all veterinarians across the country working with swine will have the ability to communicate on a very regular basis and have some data to support what they are suggesting.

The swine industry will gain primarily through improved disease control but also potentially have the ability to respond to new health issues that do come up and more rapidly develop control methods and have a better understanding of what's going on.

Dr Byra says data will be collected from farm medical records with farm identification stripped out so there will be no way to identify which farms are included.