The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) collaborated with other industry organizations to develop an emergency communication protocol in the event of new or emerging disease issues. All of the stakeholders involved in developing this communications protocol realize diagnostic work and caring for affected pigs will be producers’ and veterinarians’ first priority. Equally as important is safeguarding the health of the U.S. herd which may be at risk, creating need for the Emerging Disease Communication Plan which includes the process to follow and outlines resources available.
The Communications Plan process provides for confidentiality of the producer, veterinarian, or site identifiers making initial calls. Any actions because of those calls will maintain confidentiality to the level requested by the producer or veterinarian, unless state or federal swine health regulations dictate otherwise.
Step One: Begin diagnostics with routine testing and proceeding to further investigation if the pathogen is not identified. Should these diagnostics point to a new pathogen, producers and/or their veterinarians go to Step Two. (If follow-up diagnostics are required, resources are available through SHIC’s Diagnostic Fee Support process.
Step Two: Contact a veterinarian with any one of the following pork industry organizations:
American Association of Swine Veterinarians 515-465-5255
National Pork Board 515-223-2600
National Pork Producers Council 515-278-8012
Swine Health Information Center 515-598-4553
Step Three: The organization contacted in Step Two will inform the other veterinarians within all the above list.
Step Four: A conference call will be held with the producer and/or veterinarian of the case, veterinarians of the pork industry organizations, and subject matter experts as needed. Together, further appropriate action will be discussed.
Step Five: Information gathered will be used to consider coordinated response options.
The Emerging Disease Communication Plan provides a structure for sharing information, informing industry stakeholders, engaging resources, and assuring the U.S. swine herd is protected.
For more information on the Plan, contact SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg.