At some point in time our industry is going to have a foreign animal disease outbreak. It’s a fact that pork producers hope will never happen, but prepare endlessly for.
Further details of the Secure Pork Supply program were announced during the 2018 World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, that will help producers prepare for a disease event, provide a digital access to farm records for veterinarians and health officials, and be able to work quickly to mitigate any disruption in business or animal movement.
“As bio-secure as we are, at some point we will have a foreign animal disease—as much as we try to prevent it. Secure Pork Supply is a program to better enable us to respond to when that does happen. We've got to be ready, and producers need to be involved ahead of time,” said Dave Pyburn, National Pork Board vice president of science and technology.
“So what we're doing … this year is developing a data dashboard to be able to deliver that digitally, and decisions can start to be made,” he says.
The digital dashboard—where producers and veterinarians can submit and access information—will be launched in 2019. A lighter beta mobile version will be available this July.
4 Program Goals
One of the greatest concerns for the pork chain is a break in the continuity of business—meaning a restriction of animal transfer as veterinarians and investigators work. Most operations do not have the resources to hold pigs for more than a week—and many of those animals will be need to send to slaughter in a timely manner.
“So, what do we need to provide to the state animal health officials?” he asks. There are four main things the Secure Pork Supply program that can help expedite a hog farm’s compliance with a disease event, and work quickly to get animal transport restarted.
- Animal movement guidance
- Business Continuity
- Disease surveillance data
Want to learn more about how and why this program was developed. Watch this webinar from the Iowa State University about the program and how it works. (Iowa State University)
Meeting all of these goals will require quick and immediate access to records from farmers, veterinarians and state and national animal health officials.
“Is it possible that you have higher levels of bio security and you kept disease off your site? They're going to ask for records to show that,” Pyburn said.
A lesson learned from the avian industry—farm records are great, but they are often located at the farm, and on paper. The Secure Pork Plan makes those records accessible quickly by producers and veterinarians in a digital platform.
Steps to Take
“I encourage producers to get involved now,” Pyburn says. “If you've already got that relationship with your state veterinarian. If you've already got that premises ID number so that you can be identified your site can be identified, you will be ahead of the game and you will be the first one to hit the restart movement if it is safe to do so”.