USAHA Transmissible Diseases of Swine Committee Meets

The US Animal Health Association's Transmissible Diseases of Swine Committee met on October 17 in Minneapolis, MN during the associations' 2006 annual meeting. The Committee, chaired by Dr. Mark Engle, heard a number of presentations regarding the current health status of the U.S. swine herd.

Dr. Paul Sundberg updated the committee on the current status of Porcine Circovirus Associated Disease (PCVAD) in North America. He reported on the activities of PCVAD committees within both the National Pork Board (NPB) and the AASV which have led to the additional availability of funding for research and education. He reported that mostly anecdotal reports in both Canada and the U.S. indicate that the current vaccines appear to be effective at reducing mortality and improving performance. The availability of adequate quantities of vaccine remains a challenge, however.

Dr. David Pyburn with USDA offered a report on the activities of the department during FY 06. He reviewed current statistics on garbage feeders and the inspections program findings as part of the Swine Health Protection Act. In FY06, there were 2078 licensed garbage feeders, 1100 of which were located in Puerto Rico. He also discussed the Classical Swine Fever (CSF) surveillance plan developed in 2004 at the National Surveillance Unit (NSU) at USDA's Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health in Ft. Collins, CO. Funding for the program has been secured and sampling has been expanded. USDA has provided cooperative grants to AASV, NPB, and the Center for Food Safety and Public Health (CFSPH) at ISU to develop and distribute educational materials to interested stakeholders regarding the CSF surveillance program. Dr. Pyburn also updated the committee on the Brucellosis and PRV eradication programs. In FY06 there were 13 cases of brucellosis and 12 cases of PRV identified in transitional swine. Six of these cases were dual infections.

The committee also heard reports from Dr. Nora Wineland and Dr. Eric Bush regarding surveillance activities being conducted at CEAH. Dr. Wineland updated the group regarding the 2006 National Animal Health Monitoring Survey (NAHMS) soon to be underway in the swine herd. Dr. Bush discussed a proposal for monitoring at-risk swine for PRV. The proposal would involve defining high-risk counties, implementing a permitting system, establishing post-movement eligibility for testing and the sampling rate. There was concern expressed that such an effort should not place increased restrictions on the interstate movement of swine or unduly burden producers and state animal health officials. USDA would provide funding for states to conduct the proposed testing.

Dr. Carter Black serves as the chair of the Feral Swine Subcommittee and provided a report on the subcommittee's activities at the annual meeting. Additional reports were provided to the TDS committee by Dr. Harry Snelson (providing an update on progress on the NBAF), Dr. Keith Flanagan (discussing CSF control and surveillance in developing countries) and Dr. Patrick Webb (offered an update on the activities of the Swine Health Advisory Committee).

The TDS committee passed 3 resolutions during the meeting. Two of which were brought forth from the Feral Swine Subcommittee to address changes in the CFR to better reflect current program practices and addressing the control of feral swine. The third resolution addressed the committee's concerns regarding the development of the National Bio and Agrodefense Facility to replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and requested additional stakeholder input in all phases of the process.

Finally, Dr. Engle notified the TDS committee of the decision to recess the PRV Control Board and informed the members that future PRV program related reports would be addressed to the TDS committee for consideration. The PRV Control Board will retain its official charge regarding the PRV Eradication Program and will meet as needed.