Industry Supports Modified National List of Reportable Animal Diseases

( Jennifer Shike )

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposed a new National List of Reportable Animal Diseases (NLRAD) in May to further strengthen the country’s ability to detect, respond to and control animal diseases.

The goal? To create a consolidated, comprehensive set of guidelines to ensure federal and state animal health officials receive information quickly about potential cases of communicable animal diseases. 

Although the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), and the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) support establishing a NLRAD that consists of named animal diseases and conditions with established case definitions. In joint comments to APHIS on July 29, the groups noted a separate portal should also be created to collect voluntary reports of suspicious animal health events.

“NPPC, AASV and SHIC concur with APHIS that under-reporting of notifiable animal diseases within the United States can have significant domestic and international ramifications. However, it must be acknowledged that false or premature reports can similarly have damaging consequences,” the groups wrote. “For these reasons, animal health professionals, or indeed any individuals other than veterinarians, should not be obligated to report under the NLRAD when they are not credentialled to make a diagnosis of a specific animal disease.”  

The groups also said they can only support mandating state reporting of monitored animal diseases if both APHIS and the states have the necessary resources to compile and transmit this information electronically, and if APHIS has the resources to analyze the information when making it publicly available, according to NPPC’s Capital Update. 

Reporting requirements for notifiable animal diseases and conditions should be limited to veterinary diagnostic laboratories and veterinarians, and such reports under the federal rule should be made exclusively to the proposed NLRAD portal, the groups emphasized. 

Read the full comments here.
 

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