Early Awareness Key to Preparing for Pig Disease Threats

US - The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center says early awareness of pending disease threats is the key to being prepared, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 17 September 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

The Swine Health Information Center was created to develop an international swine health intelligence network to track swine diseases globally, establish research programs to prepare for disease threats and facilitate communications among producers and animal care specialists.

Executive director Dr Paul Sundberg says one of the primary lines of defense is awareness so we have to ensure that we have adequate diagnostics and information about diseases we are at risk of.

Dr Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:

PED showed us that the window probably is still open for other things to come into the country and we want to use the center's information, the center's research in order to help the industry be better prepared both through diagnostics, through prediction of disease, through monitoring of diseases and of production and then helping to be better prepared for infections when they come so they don't have the type of production effects that we went through with PED.

One of the key challenges is simply discovery and it's discovery in a manner that enables response.

That discovery has to happen, it has to happen quickly and then there has to be a response plan in place and one of the things that the center is going to do is work to the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians in developing and supporting a disease response plan so we can respond quickly should those production diseases get into the country.

Dr Sundberg says just how equipped the industry has been has been questionable.

He notes we got PRRS in the late 80s and early 90s, PCV2 in the early 2000s and now we've got PED and so the preparedness to respond has been a question and that's something the center is going to work on.

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