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Foreign Animal Disease Prevention Steps for Packers

In collaboration with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, and Swine Health Information Center, the North American Meat Institute developed and is distributing useful information, including a letter to pork packers and their suppliers, to prevent African swine fever and other foreign animal diseases (FADs).

Included in the letter are six action items to help prevent the spread of FADs:

  1. Get a premises identification number (PIN).
  2. Instructions on how to get a PIN are included on the SPS website (securepork.org). If you already have a PIN, be sure it's validated and reflects the animals' location. Then start including it on diagnostic lab submissions.
  3. Establish enhanced biosecurity measures.
  4. Write a site-specific biosecurity plan. Customizable templates are at securepork.org. Involve your herd veterinarian, and if you already have a biosecurity plan, compare it against the SPS checklist on securepork.org.
  5. Maintain detailed records.
  6. FADs can spread on contaminated vehicles, equipment and even on people's clothing and footwear. Maintain accurate records for animal movement. feed, supplies, equipment, personnel and visitors so you can provide accurate trace-back information. Electronic records are encouraged.
  7. Train your farm personnel.
  8. Go to securepork.org for videos (in English and Spanish), barn posters and manuals that illustrate biosecurity measures, disease symptoms and transmission.
  9. Monitor your pigs.
  10. Actively monitor animals daily, record what you see, know who to call and know what steps to take when or if needed. Resources are available on securepork.org that show the clinical signs of ASF and other FADs. Checking pigs daily for clinical signs can demonstrate no evidence of infection, so a movement permit can be requested in an outbreak.
  11. Communicate with your feed supplier.
  12. The science on viral transmission through feed and feedstuffs is still relatively young, but it has yielded some interesting and potentially useful information on mitigating the spread of costly viruses, such as ASF. Talk with your feed suppliers and ask for a born-on date for all imported feedstuffs from facilities where feed ingredients are manufactured. For further information on feed holding time and biosecurity, see the Swine Health Information Center.