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Swine Health Improvement Plan pilot project advances

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Resolutions passed on animal traceability, disease transmission through feed, biosecurity and sanitizing standards.

Delegates to the U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan (USSHIP) initiative, a pilot project to develop and implement an African swine fever (ASF)-Classical swine fever (CSF) monitored certification program, recently met to discuss developing program standards.

The U.S. SHIP House of Delegates (HOD) is a decision-making body composed of U.S. pork industry participants and subject matter experts that aim to represent the interests of pork industry stakeholders across each of the states that have expressed an interest in participating in the project. As of July 1, a total of 28 states had expressed interest and 179 voting delegate invitations had been extended to participate in the inaugural SHIP House of Delegates meeting.

Several National Pork Producer Council (NPPC) board and committee members served as delegates for their state pork producer organizations, and NPPC CEO Neil Dierks and Cody McKinley, NPPC’s assistant vice president for state and national relations, attended as observers.

During the meeting, resolutions were passed that related to animal traceability, risks of disease transmission through feed, biosecurity, and sanitizing standards for pork industry infrastructure, such as trucks, trailers and facilities.

Pilot project investigators, staff, and technical committees, which involved more than 90 subject matter experts/industry participants from across the U.S., contributed to the development of the draft program standards for the first year of the pilot project.

Working group findings and any associated recommendations from the first year will be provided at the second USSHIP HOD meeting to be held in August 2022.

As with the NPIP, each participating state will be responsible administering the program within the state. This will include verifying participant status and maintaining a current list of certified participants.

Participation in the program is voluntary but Requirements for certification include:

  • Enrollment and meeting requirements
  • Valid veterinary client-patient relationship with an accredited veterinarian
  • Sanitary standards for feed supply, on-farm, live-haul and movement to slaughter
  • Traceability standards such as a premise identification number, current demographic and swine movement information available for electronic upload as needed
  • Surveillance testing through state-of-the-art sampling regimens and diagnostic tools and based upon farm-type and ASF and CSF status of the United States

To learn more about the program, visit the USSHIP website.

USSHIP, which is funded by USDA’s Veterinary Services, is directed by swine veterinarians from Iowa State University, South Dakota State University, the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota. Its goal is to safeguard, certify and improve the health of the U.S. swine herd and enhance the longer-term competitiveness and sustainability of the U.S. pork industry. The pilot project was established after a 2018 study was commissioned to seek a more-in-depth understanding of the National Poultry Improvement Plan and assess the potential for an NPIP-like program to support the U.S. pork industry.

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