Pork Checkoff logoNews from the National Pork Board

Antimicrobial alternative review available

The booklet "Non-Antimicrobial Production Enhancers: A Review" is now available from the Pork Checkoff. The different classes of potential alternatives to production-enhancing antimicrobials are reviewed. The mode of action, antimicrobial effects, and animal performance data are discussed for each class. In addition, Pork Checkoff-funded research on each of the classes is summarized. This booklet was recently sent to AASV members in the United States. To order additional copies, contact Nancy Newman at the National Pork Board at 515-223-2621.

SWAP update

The Pork Checkoff continues to see the Swine Welfare Assurance Program (SWAP) as the alternative to potential, costly third-party audits. SWAP may serve as a valuable educational assessment for pork producers, and veterinarians and educators play a vital role in this.

Have you been trained as a Certified SWAP Educator? Contact the National Pork Board for more information on SWAP: 515-223-2600 or www.porkboard.org.

Antibiotic use decision making

A series of focus groups were conducted on how producers and veterinarians choose to use antibiotics, on behalf of the Pork Checkoff in several major pork-producing states. The groups provided information on their individual decision-making processes for use of antibiotics, the information sources they use, and their perception of the changing uses of antimicrobials. The focus-group information will be used in part to develop materials for veterinarians and producers on antimicrobial use.

Influenza fact sheet available

The Pork Checkoff has available a fact sheet, titled "Influenza: Pigs, People and Public Health." This fact sheet summarizes potential public health consequences of influenza for pork producers and their operations. An epidemiological background on the virus is included, as well as suggestions for producers to minimize risk of influenza on the farm. The fact sheet is available at www.porkboard.org.

Moving ahead with PRRS for 2004

The National Pork Board has set aside $2,000,000 of Checkoff funds ($US) for control and elimination of the PRRS virus. This initiative is focusing on research and education for 2004, including a PRRS-specific web site. The National PRRS Initiative, launched at the World Pork Expo in 2003, comprises 13 program elements. Because PRRS costs US pork producers an estimated $600 million annually, the Pork Checkoff continues to coordinate and research science-based answers for PRRS. For more information on the National PRRS Initiative, go to www.porkboard.org.