President's message

Scott Dee Your AASV in action!

Ahh, summer … a time for vacations, lake life, relaxing with friends, and dealing with important issues that impact the swine industry! Yes, your AASV is indeed in action and working for you! I thought for this President‘s message, I would briefly summarize a lot of the activities that your organization is involved with. I think you‘ll be impressed.

PRRS Risk Assessment tool. At the World Pork Expo, the AASV accepted the gracious gift of the PRRS Risk Assessment (PRA) tool from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. The current plan is to continue to train AASV members on how to use this tool. Another training session was completed during the World Pork Expo, where 14 AASV members were trained. Also, work has just begun on development of the Web-based application for the PRA tool.

National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has solicited bids for the location of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a site where research on foreign animal diseases and zoonotic diseases can be conducted. The AASV has been in touch with DHS and has offered input on the location of the NBAF. Dr Harry Snelson is chairing a committee representing animal agriculture to the DHS.

Japanese maximum residue levels. This critical issue is under close scrutiny by experts in our membership, and the AASV Pharmaceutical Committee is having an ongoing discussion of possible AASV actions to inform and educate members on the changes.

Pork Quality Assurance Plus program. The AASV is working closely with the National Pork Board regarding the development of this new program. It is expected that veterinarians will require training before they educate and certify producers and that Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus will have a live-animal audit for a selected sample of sites. The AASV will provide an opportunity for PQA Plus training at the 2007 annual meeting in Orlando.

Porcine Circovirus Associated Disease Committee. This committee is very active and is preparing action items for AASV board consideration this fall, including a formal adoption of the name “porcine circovirus associated disease” (PCVAD) and finalizing a case definition. Future developments include a set of standardized clinical guidelines to aid in diagnosis and a PCVAD Web site for information dissemination.

PRRS Eradication Task Forces. As promised, we are building teams! The North American PRRS Eradication Task Forces held its first meeting at the Expo. One of the issues discussed was development of a survey to accumulate feedback from members on the feasibility of PRRS eradication. Members of the AASV are also in the process of establishing state- and regional-based eradication task forces and are initiating meetings. Finally, the PRRS committee is working closely with the Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board to develop standardized PRRS definitions for communicating the status of herds and groups of pigs that cross the border from Canada into the United States. It is hoped that this information will aid veterinarian-to-veterinarian communication.

PRRS Coordinated Agricultural Project. The AASV was well represented at a meeting hosted by the National Pork Board to develop the foundation for the USDA National Research Initiative PRRS Coordinated Agricultural Project 2 (PRRS CAP 2). Members of AASV had strong input into the selection of the three focus areas of the proposal (immunology, vaccinology, and virus ecology and epidemiology), organizing the External Stakeholder Advisory Board, and supporting the decision to fund multi-year projects. A number of AASV members will also assist in writing the proposal. Bottom line: we were at the table when it counted, representing your interests.

Outreach. As always, the AASV is an educator, and our outreach efforts are always outstanding. Recently, Dr Kerry Keffaber organized and chaired the annual “Members Only” session at the World Pork Expo. A detailed agenda included updates on PRRS eradication, PRRS CAP 2 and PCVAD research, epidemiology, and experiences with the use of new vaccines. Plenty of time was allotted for discussion, and, as usual, AASV members had plenty of good information to share. Also during the Expo, Dr Daryl Olsen led the program planning committee meeting for the 2007 AASV Annual Meeting, entitled “The AASV: From Good to Great.”

Whew! Were you surprised at the level of activity in our organization? I am certainly impressed and overwhelmed by the willingness of our members to serve. Many of you are pitching in and making a positive impact on the swine industry and the veterinary profession. The spirit of volunteerism in our organization is strong and I cannot begin to thank those of you who give so generously of your time. I would like to encourage more members to consider assisting in AASV-related functions. You don‘t need to wait for a call: simply contact your board representative, the AASV office, or any of the AASV executive committee members and let us know your intentions. We love hearing from you. Each and every one of you has a voice and an important opinion to share. This is your AASV, and I think you must agree … it is “in action”!

-- Scott Dee