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Pork industry input guides US Swine Health Improvement Plan forward

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Speakers and delegates representing 31 states discussed traceability, surveillance, feed biosafety, site biosecurity and live-haul sanitation.

More than 250 producers, veterinarians, swine health officials, state pork association officials and others recently met as delegates to the US Swine Health Improvement Plan meeting in Bloomington, Minnesota. The delegation discussed and passed resolutions and standards to bring more clarity and definition to the project works toward its goal of becoming a full USDA program designed to safeguard, certify and improve animal health.           

"We're very pleased with the great discussions and action that took place at the 2022 house of delegates meeting as we seek to move the program forward," said Tyler Holck, DVM, US SHIP senior program coordinator, Iowa State University. "We would like to see even more producers, live-animal marketers and packers across the country join their peers in participating as we seek to grow this program in the months and years ahead."

Speakers and delegates representing 31 states discussed traceability, surveillance, feed biosafety, site biosecurity and live-haul sanitation. Voting delegates approved eight resolutions for further assessment and consideration of four standards related to traceability, feed biosafety (two), live haul sanitation, surveillance (two), feral pig risk mitigation and governance. Working groups and/or pilot projects will begin in the next year for all areas with findings and recommendations to be presented at the 2023 US SHIP delegates' meeting.

"Those who attended this meeting offered invaluable input and showed a high level of collaboration that should help make US SHIP even more successful as it moves ahead," said Dusty Oedekoven, National Pork Board's chief veterinarian. "The industry needs to do everything it can to prepare for an event such as African swine fever, and this program can and should help us achieve that goal. I would urge producers to contact their official state agency and enroll in SHIP."

Specifically on foreign animal disease, Holck said, "US SHIP aims to incorporate a number of the foreign animal disease preparedness efforts into a singular USDA certification (ASF-CSF Monitored) of U.S. swine production premises, live animal marketing operations and slaughter facilities."

Per US SHIP's original intent, the plan is to mitigate risks of disease introduction and provide a practical means for demonstrating evidence of freedom of disease (outside of foreign animal disease control areas) in support of ongoing interstate commerce and a pathway towards the resumption of international trade.

"We are encouraging all segments of the U.S. pork industry to participate in US SHIP," Holck said. "When fully implemented, the program is designed to be applicable across the full spectrum of U.S. pork industry participants from the small show pig farmer to the large commercial producers and slaughter facilities."

US SHIP Official State Agencies across the United States began the process of enrolling sites last March. To date, approximately 40% of the US breeding herd and growing pigs across 31 states have enrolled in US SHIP. The pilot program is on an expedited path towards becoming a USDA program by 2024.

US SHIP has been endorsed by the National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Institute, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, United States Animal Health Association and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.

"As a major funding partner of US SHIP using Pork Checkoff funds, we're encouraged to see the level of industry engagement and solidarity behind the core objectives of the plan to help improve the nation's foreign animal disease readiness and protect our ability to maintain continuity of business in the face of a potential foreign animal disease outbreak," said Oedekoven.

Source: Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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