AASV goes to Washington

The AASV Executive Committee traveled to Washington, DC, June 13 to 15, 2010, to meet with animal-agriculture-related agencies. Participants included Past-President Butch Baker, President Paul Ruen, Vice President Tara Donovan, Executive Director Tom Burkgren, and Communications Director Harry Snelson. The AASV leadership joined their counterparts from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP).

The trip has become an annual event hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA’s) Government Relations Division in DC. The AASV and AABP leadership met with representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, American Farm Bureau, USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services and Food Safety Inspection Service, and the Food and Drug Administration to discuss issues of importance to swine and bovine veterinarians.

In addition, the AASV participants visited with research program leaders from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). During this meeting, the group discussed on-going swine health and production research programs and the challenges to maintaining and increasing federal funding for basic and applied swine research. Upon the formation of NIFA, formerly the Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service, five priority topic areas (global food security, childhood obesity, climate change, food safety, and sustainable bio-energy) were identified to govern the emphasis of research projects funded by the agency. All future research projects must fit into at least one of the five priorities, some of which have proven challenging for swine research efforts. Ultimately, it is hoped that this change in emphasis will result in increased funding for agriculture in general, but the impact on swine health and production remains unclear.

The AASV leadership had the opportunity to meet with the AVMA’s Government Relations folks to discuss legislative issues of importance to veterinary medicine. The Executive Committee members spent time visiting their Congressional representatives and staff members to educate them regarding issues such as the Veterinary Loan Repayment program, the Veterinary Services Investment Act, and the Preservation of Antimicrobials for Medical Treatment Act.

For more information about the topics discussed during the visit, please read the “Advocacy in action” article in this issue of JSHAP.

AASV sponsors PRRS educational session at WPX

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians sponsored an educational session during the 2010 World Pork Expo (WPX) entitled “Managing to Eliminate PRRS on the Farm.” More than 80 producers participated in the session, which discussed efforts to eliminate porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus from swine farms and localized regions.

Participants heard veterinarians and producers present information on virus spread, ideas to prevent PRRS from infecting farms, creating and implementing a biosecurity plan, the effect of PRRS on herds and production potential, controlling and eliminating the virus from herds, and producers’ grassroots regional elimination projects.

Dr Scott Dee described the benefits associated with filtering incoming air to minimize the risk of airborne transmission of the PRRS virus. Dee described his on-going research project exploring the impact of filtration in commercial herds. Dr David Nolan, Cargill Pork, discussed the company’s successful efforts to eradicate the virus from their herds in 2003, but he also noted the challenge of all elimination efforts: the difficulty of preventing re-infection. Nolan described the unfortunate consequences of a recent outbreak, but he indicated the eradication project had been successful and economically beneficial overall.

While producers and veterinarians don’t have all of the tools they would like to possess in order to facilitate the eradication of this disease, Drs Paul Ruen and Butch Baker outlined the steps used to stabilize the virus in herds and the cooperation necessary to conduct successful regional elimination projects.

Producers Jon Caspers and Steve Langhorst also discussed their experiences with PRRS-infected herds and the desire to eliminate the virus’s devastating economic effects on US pork production.

CVM announces the availability of the NARMS 2007 Executive Report

The Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has released the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Enteric Bacteria 2007 Executive Report.

The report summarizes, in an integrated format, NARMS data on non-typhoidal Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates recovered in 2007 from food animals at federally inspected plants, retail meats, and humans. The report also includes susceptibility data on Escherichia coli isolates recovered from retail meats and chickens. Summary data from prior years are also included.

As a supplement to the report, CVM has also provided two interactive graphs that allow users to visualize trends in antimicrobial resistance among NARMS Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates through a user-friendly interface.

The report may be found at http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/AntimicrobialResistance/NationalAnti microbialResistanceMonitoringSystem/ucm209340.htm.

AVMA issues policy on swine castration, tail docking, and teeth clipping

The American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA’s) Executive Board has approved proposals to replace the AVMA policy on swine castration, tail docking, and teeth clipping with two new policies. Backgrounders on both policies are available online at http://www.avma.org/reference/backgrounders/practices_piglets_bgnd.asp.

AVMA policy: Swine castration

Castration of swine can help control aggressive behavior and improve the palatability of pork. Current US swine markets do not allow for mass marketing of uncastrated male pigs. Castration is a painful surgical procedure and should be performed as early as possible, preferably by 14 days of age. Surgical wounds should be healed prior to weaning. After 14 days of age, swine should be castrated using analgesia, anesthesia, or both. The AVMA recommends the use of procedures and practices that reduce or eliminate pain, including the use of approved or AMDUCA-permissible clinically effective medications whenever possible. The AVMA encourages development and implementation of practical analgesic and anesthetic protocols for, and alternatives to, swine castration.

AVMA policy: Tail docking and teeth clipping of swine

Tail docking is performed to prevent tail biting and cannibalism among pigs. Tail docking should be performed as early as possible, but by 14 days of age.

Teeth clipping is performed as necessary to prevent trauma to the sow’s teats and snouts of other piglets (due to the presence of sharp canine teeth at birth). Farms may minimize the need for clipping piglets’ teeth altogether by not cross-fostering between litters.

The AVMA recommends the use of procedures and practices that reduce or eliminate pain, including the use of approved or AMDUCA-permissible clinically effective medications whenever possible.

Nominate exceptional colleagues for AASV awards

Do you know an AASV member whose dedication to the association and the swine industry is worthy of recognition? The AASV Awards Committee requests nominations for the following five awards to be presented at the upcoming AASV annual meeting in Phoenix.

Howard Dunne Memorial Award – Given annually to an AASV member who has made a significant contribution and rendered outstanding service to the AASV and the swine industry.

Meritorious Service Award – Given annually to an individual who has consistently given time and effort to the association in the area of service to the AASV members, AASV officers, and the AASV staff.

Swine Practitioner of the Year – Given annually to the swine practitioner (AASV member) who has demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency in the delivery of veterinary service to his or her clients.

Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year – Given annually to the technical services or allied industry veterinarian who has demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of veterinary service to his or her company and its clients as well as given tirelessly in service to the AASV and the swine industry.

Young Swine Veterinarian of the
– Given annually to a swine veterinarian who is an AASV member, 5 years or less post graduation, who has demonstrated the ideals of exemplary service and proficiency early in his or her career.

Nominations are due December 15. The nomination letter should specify the award and cite the qualifications of the candidate for the award. Submit to: AASV, 830 26th Street, Perry, IA 50220, Fax: 515-465-3832, E-mail: aasv@aasv.org.

Call for papers – AASV 2011 Student Seminar

Veterinary student scholarships

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians announces an opportunity for up to 15 veterinary students to make scientific presentations during the Student Seminar at the AASV Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday, March 6, 2011. Interested students are invited to submit a one-page abstract of a research paper, clinical case study, or literature review for consideration. The submitting student must be a current (2010-2011) student member of the AASV at the time of submission. The membership application is available at http://ecom.aasv.org/membership.

Abstracts and supplementary materials must be received by Dr Alex Ramirez (alex@aasv.org) by midnight on Monday, September 27, 2010 (firm deadline). All material must be submitted electronically. Late abstracts will not be considered. The abstracts will be reviewed by an unbiased professional panel consisting of a private practitioner, an academician, and an industry veterinarian. Students whose papers are selected for presentation at the meeting will be notified by October 15, 2010, and will be expected to provide the complete paper or abstract for publication by November 15, 2010.

To help defray the costs of attending the AASV meeting, Alpharma Animal Health provides a $750 honorarium to the student presenter of each paper selected for the seminar.

Veterinary students whose papers are selected for presentation at the meeting will be eligible to compete for several veterinary student scholarships awarded through the AASV Foundation. The oral presentations will be judged to determine the amount of the scholarship awarded.

Alpharma Animal Health funds a $5000 scholarship for the student whose paper, oral presentation, and supporting information are judged best overall.

The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, on behalf of Elanco Animal Health, provides $20,000 in additional funding for veterinary student scholarships, enabling the AASV Foundation to provide awards of $2500 each for 2nd through 5th place, $1500 each for 6th through 10th place, and $500 each for 11th through 15th place.

Students whose papers are not selected for oral presentation in the Student Seminar will be eligible to be considered for participation in a poster session at the annual meeting. Alpharma and the AASV fund a stipend of $250 for each student who is selected and participates in the poster presentation.

Complete information for preparing and submitting abstracts is available on the AASV Web site at www.aasv.org/annmtg/2011/studentseminar.htm. Please note: the rules for submission should be followed carefully. For more information, contact the AASV office (Tel: 515-465-5255; Fax: 515-465-3832; E-mail: aasv@aasv.org).

42nd AASV Annual Meeting: Call for Abstracts – Industrial Partners

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians invites submissions for the Industrial Partners portion of the 42nd AASV Annual Meeting, to be held March 5 to 8, 2011, in Phoenix, Arizona. This is an opportunity for commercial companies to make brief presentations of a technical, educational nature to members of the AASV.

As in the past, the oral sessions will consist of a series of 15-minute presentations scheduled from 1:00 to 5:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, March 6. A poster session will take place on the same day. Poster authors will be required to be stationed with their poster from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm, and the posters will remain on display throughout the afternoon.

Restricted program space necessitates a limit on the number of presentations per company. Companies that are members of the Journal of Swine Health and Production Industry Support Council (listed on the inside front cover of JSHAP) may submit two topics for oral presentation. All other companies may submit one topic for oral presentation. Each company may submit one topic for poster presentation (poster topics may not duplicate oral presentations). All topics must represent information not previously presented at the AASV Annual Meeting or published in the meeting proceedings.

Topic titles, a brief description of the presentation content, and presenter information (name, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address) must be received in the AASV office by October 1, 2010. Please identify whether the submission is intended for oral or poster presentation. Send to: Commercial Sessions, AASV, 830 26th Street, Perry, IA 50220; Fax: 515-465-3832; E-mail: aasv@aasv.org.

Authors will be notified of their acceptance by October 15, 2010, and must submit the paper for publication in the meeting proceedings by November 15, 2010. All presentations – oral and poster – will be published in the proceedings of the meeting. Papers for poster presentations are limited to one page of text plus one table or figure. Papers for oral presentations may be up to five pages in length (including tables and figures) when formatted according to the guidelines provided. Companies failing to submit papers in a timely manner will not be eligible for future participation in these sessions.