Pork's global roadmap, local drivers

The pork industry lived through Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus,


but there will probably be other disease outbreaks in the future, says Dr. Corrie Brown, with the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. She spoke at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Practitioners.

"Unfortunately, not all animal health emergencies are created equal, and much depends on the missions and abilities of the emergency management systems operated by the governmental and intergovernmental organizations," Brown said. "This requires some backgrounding in how national animal health systems are constructed and how they operate in today's interconnected and globalized world."

For 2015, Brown said there were 117 notifiable diseases, which means notifying the international community of the occurrence of any of these diseases is required. Of these diseases, six are swine-specific: African swine fever, classical swine fever, Nipah virus infection, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, porcine cysticercosis, and transmissible gastroenteritis.

How a disease is treated depends to a large extent on whether or not it impacts the "public good."

"As Napoleon the pig stated in the classic novel, Animal Farm, by George Orwell, 'All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.' The same is true for diseases. Our regulatory systems, both national and international, are designed to deal with diseases of established public good. For those diseases that are traditionally considered within the realm of private good, it falls to local actors for the assessment and control," Brown stated.

Looking into the future, what are we going to see?

"We lived through PEDv, but will there be another one?" Brown asks.

"There probably will be - it's likely that something else will sneak in," she says. "A recommendation would be, when the next one comes, you're going to need all hands on deck from the beginning, but hopefully in a way that does not impede economics or restrict trade."