While much work remains, 1 year after porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) came to the United States, the National Pork Board has many research projects underway and has built an arsenal of information from the nearly $2 million in Pork Checkoff funds designated to fight the costly disease. Additionally, the Pork Checkoff continues collaboration with a number of industry players, including the National Pork Producers Council, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the American Feed Industry Association, the National Grain and Feed Association, the National Renderers Association, and the North American Spray Dried Blood and Plasma Protein Producers. Private companies such as Cargill also have contributed funds to aid Checkoff’s PEDV research efforts.
Pork Checkoff updates Youth PQA Plus program
Consumers want to know how their food is produced. Through its Youth Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program, the National Pork Board is making training available to young producers so they can continue to earn the trust of consumers through transparency and training. Recent changes to Youth PQA Plus include an online training, testing, and certification option to accompany the current in-person process. Delivered to students in the form of an engaging interactive, online learning module, the new online option allows participants to learn, test, and become certified in Youth PQA Plus. For youth age 12 and under, there is a parent log-in for security, as well.
Youth PQA Plus is one part of the pork industry’s We Care initiative, which reflects the ongoing commitment to responsible farming and fosters continuous improvement. Youth PQA Plus consists of two main elements: food safety and animal well-being training. The new online certification option for Youth PQA Plus was made available on April 15, 2014.
More information on the revised Youth PQA Plus program is available at www.pork.org/certification. Click on the Youth PQA Plus link.
New PEDV fact sheet available
Transportation biosecurity recommendations for PEDV control at packing plants. Because of the extreme ease with which porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) spreads, it is very important that everyone does their part to prevent the spread of this costly disease. This means taking steps after the market pigs leave the farm. Pig transporters need to take their part in PEDV control seriously. Biosecurity procedures for the truck and trailer include cleaning and disinfecting between loads taken to market. In addition, steps at the plant should be followed that help maintain a clear line of separation between the trailer and the market area (unloading chute).
To help keep trailers disinfected, consider using disinfectants that effectively inactivate PEDV. They include oxidizing agents, eg, potassium peroxymonosulfate (Virkon S; Antec Intl Ltd, Stevenage, England) or sodium hypochlorite (bleach); sodium carbonates, eg, soda ash; lipid solvents, eg, ethyl alcohol; strong iodophors in phospohoric acid, eg, iodine; phenoloic compounds, eg, 1 Stroke Environ (Steris Corp, Mentor, Ohio) or Tek-Trol (ABC Compounding, Morrow, Georgia); and aldehydes, eg, Synergize (Preserve Intl, Memphis, Tennessee).
Visit www.pork.org/pedv for all related fact sheets.
Pork Checkoff announces recipients of the 2014 pork industry scholarships
The National Pork Board has awarded 18 scholarships to college students around the United States as part of its strategy to develop the pork industry’s human capital for the future. The scholarship winners were selected from a pool of 21 applicants on the basis of scholastic merit, leadership activities, pork-production industry involvement, and future pork-production career plans.
“Helping develop the next generation of pork professionals is one of the top issues that the Pork Checkoff has identified as critical for the industry’s future,” said Karen Richter, president of the National Pork Board and a producer from Montgomery, Minnesota. “Our ongoing service and obligation to producers includes ensuring that there is a sustainable source of young people ready to take on the industry’s charge of producing safe, wholesome pork in a socially responsible way.”
For more information, contact Chris Hostetler at CHostetler@pork.org or 515-223-2606.
We Care at the barn level, materials available
Changing consumer attitudes makes it more important than ever for producers to show how much they care and what they do on their farm to produce safe and healthy food. To help achieve this, the National Pork Board has created a variety of materials to help producers demonstrate their commitment to the We Care ethical principles, including We Care producer brochures that describe the proud heritage of pork and what producers are doing to show their commitment to doing what’s right. There also are barn manager brochures that can be customized to highlight the ethical principles and how they can be integrated into a specific pork producer’s operation. In addition, durable We Care posters highlight each ethical principle and are available in English and Spanish.
To order We Care Barn Work Posters, contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center at 800-456-7675 or order online at the Pork Store at the top of the pork.org home page.
Pork Checkoff updates TQA program
Since 2001, the pork industry’s Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) program has promoted responsible practices when handling and transporting pigs. In that time, TQA has undergone five revisions, always striving to offer the most current, science-based information on humane handling, biosecurity and proper transportation of swine. The mission of the TQA program remains unchanged: to continuously build a culture of protecting and promoting animal well-being through training and certification of animal handlers and transport personnel.
“Consumers are hungry for information on how their pork is raised – from the farm to the table,” said Sherrie Webb, animal welfare director at the National Pork Board. “That need for information is about more than what happens on the farm and extends to how that animal is safely and humanely transported from farm to market. That’s why keeping current on transportation trends is so critical.”
Staying current on transportation trends requires continuous evaluation and commitment. The Pork Checkoff’s pioneering TQA curriculum focuses not only on safe handling, but also emerging diseases such as PEDV and biosecurity. The revised program provides a new approach to understanding basic pig behavior and body language and how it contributes to a safe and positive experience for both the pig and the handler.
“Calm pigs are easier to handle than excited, agitated pigs. Handling will be easier, and pigs less likely to become agitated and bunch together, if handlers use basic pig behavioral principles,” said Webb. “An important part of effectively using pig behavior during handling procedures is learning how the pig perceives and responds to the handler in different situations and environments.”