Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) Executive Director Paul Sundberg, DVM presented the 2017 Annual Report and the Center’s accomplishments at the National Pork Board meeting earlier this month. The report was accepted and the organization’s efforts to protect and enhance the health of the U.S. swine herd were validated.
“SHIC is working on data warehouses that will provide swine disease monitoring while maintaining confidentiality for producers,” Sunberg says. “Ethically, we have a responsibility to our U.S. swine herd to monitor and protect ourselves from foreign and emerging animal diseases. It is also paramount to the economic survival of our pork industry to avoid a foreign animal disease because of the extreme importance of being able to continue exporting U.S. pork in the global marketplace.”
The report contains detailed information on all the organization’s activities. It is available for review and comment at www.swinehealth.org.
“Guided by the 2017 Plan of Work, SHIC’s resources were focused on urgent return-on-investment projects to monitor, predict, prepare, and respond to emerging diseases,” a news release said. “SHIC compliments programs of other pork industry producer and veterinarian organizations as it acts quickly and urgently regarding swine health by providing its coordinated, valuable deliverables to investors.” According to the release, key accomplishments are:
- Implementation of near real-time domestic and global swine disease monitoring processes
- Development of a communications action plan in the event of novel disease discovery
- Launching a Rapid Response Program with a trained Rapid Response Corps to make site visits on farms with novel disease incidents
- Funding diagnostic assistance to make sure emerging diseases won’t go undiscovered
- Providing diagnostic tools for foreign animal diseases posing a threat
- Maintaining the Swine Disease Matrix that prioritizes disease risks to the U.S. pork industry
Emerging diseases remain the primary concern for SHIC and the industry. These include diseases being introduced into the U.S., an example of which is the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PED) outbreak in 2013, or endemic diseases already present but changed in some manner with significant health and/or profitability impacts, such as Seneca Valley A which emerged in 2015.
“Continuing to deliver relevant and useful tools, programs, and resources, SHIC’s 2018 Plan of Work will be set by the organization’s Board of Directors using input from the industry and appropriate follow-up to the 2017 Plan,” the release said. “The 2018 Plan of Work will be posted on the SHIC following the organization’s board meeting in late January.”
Funded by America’s pork producers to protect and enhance the health of the U.S. swine herd, the Swine Health Information Center focuses its efforts on prevention, preparedness, and response.