Pork CheckoffNews from the National Pork Board

Pork Checkoff gains further direction from US Animal Health Association

Because of the Pork Checkoff's involvement in a variety of issues involving the US Animal Health Association (USAHA), the pork industry can continue to address these issues through a number of programs.

The Pork Checkoff has played an important role in the development of the US Animal Identification Plan (USAIP). The USAHA's resolution reads as follows:

"Therefore be it resolved that the USAHA accepts the draft US Animal Identification Plan (USAIP) proposed by the National Animal Identification Development Team as a work in progress, and encourages its further refinement and implementation through the following Guiding Principles:

  • The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA, APHIS), state animal health authorities, and species specific groups should work to finalize and implement standards associated with the development and administration of the premises identification system and the US animal identification numbering system in a timely manner, and develop the information systems necessary to support them.
  • The USDA should coordinate the organization of species specific groups to determine the final design, implementation process and oversight methods necessary for the national animal identification system for their respective species. These groups, working within the USAIP framework, will make their recommendations to the National Identification Steering Committee.
  • The USDA should work with state animal health officials and the species groups to develop minimum standards necessary to implement minimum standards necessary to implement the USAIP."

The USAHA endorsed a surveillance initiative, developed in part by the Pork Checkoff. The Pork Checkoff has partnered with USDA-Veterinary Services (VS) to develop a national swine surveillance system that would rapidly detect, assess, and respond to emerging swine diseases. One key aspect of emerging disease surveillance will involve the evolution of state Pseudorabies Advisory Committees into broad-based Swine Health Advisory Committees.

The USAHA also resolved to encourage support for USDA to work with the pork industry on porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) in coordination with the Pork Checkoff's National PRRS Initiative.

The USAHA gave direction to the pork industry on pseudorabies to allow for US pseudorabies virus-free status, which can be attained 2 years after release of the last quarantine for a confirmed case in domestic swine. Feral swine issues were also addressed within the Pseudorabies Committee.

Pork producer Jim Leafstedt of South Dakota was elected to serve as third vice president for USAHA in 2004. This election leads to a future presidency of the association for Leafstedt, who also serves as a member of the Pork Checkoff's Swine Health Committee.

Distance learning courses available

The Pork Checkoff now has available eight learning courses for pork producers and the caretakers they employ. These courses are interactive educational courses to help producers train employees or to use as quick references themselves. Veterinarians and educators may also use the courses as classroom material.

Eight distance learning courses available

  • Farrowing Management
  • Breeding Management
  • Growing/Finishing Management
  • Segregated Early Weaning (SEW)
  • Husbandry and Stockmanship
  • Euthanasia
  • Handling Hogs for Quality
  • PQA- Pork Quality Assurance

The Pork Checkoff will continue developing learning courses on a number of other topics for pork producers. If you or a producer you know is interested in the learning courses, call 800-456-PORK. More information is also available online at www.porkboard.org.