Positive Veterinary Response to New National Communications Network

14 September 2012, at 8:38am

CANADA - The Canadian Swine Health Board reports the response to a new national communications network for swine practitioners has been positive, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network is a national communications network which allows swine veterinarians across Canada to share information on disease issues developing in their regions.

Information collected through on-line surveys is discussed as part of three regional and one national veterinary meeting to identify trends and develop responses.

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 the concept is being well received.

Dr Dan Hurnik-Canadian Swine Health Board:

If we look back historically on how we've handled diseases in Canada, particularly the Circovirus outbreak of 2004 and 2005, that was characterised by each region trying to fight with the disease and try to solve the issue for their region and for their clients and it took quite awhile before a national meeting was held and a national response was planned.

By having this kind of network where regions discuss issues and compare notes we think we can tighten that time frame considerably. So rather than a year to have a national meeting we can have this happen right away and plan strategies.

Once you create a network and discuss issues the concerns of one practitioner are actually reflected on a wider scale.

It allows us to compare notes among practitioners about what individual response have been, what can people learn from each other and it puts awareness onto the Canadian production system, makes us aware of what diseases are out there, what are the trends that are happening.

Dr Hurnick says this is the first time practitioners have sat down and to share notes on what they're seeing and the response has been positive.