AASV leadership meets in DC

The executive committee of the AASV spent 2 days in Washington, DC, meeting with regulators, legislators, and researchers to discuss issues of interest to swine veterinarians. Drs Randy Jones, Tara Donovan, Matt Anderson, Paul Ruen, Tom Burkgren, and Harry Snelson, along with the leadership from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, were hosted by the Governmental Relations Division of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

During the visit, participants had an opportunity to meet with officials from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Food Safety Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to discuss such topics as influenza surveillance, comprehensive and integrated swine surveillance plans, animal traceability, the USDA’s Vision 2015 report, antimicrobial residues and condemnation issues at slaughter, veterinary oversight, Veterinary Feed Directives, and FDA Guidance 209.

In addition, the group also met with swine researchers from the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to discuss the priorities and direction for swine health and production research in the face of dwindling research funding.

We had an opportunity this year to meet with Dr Deborah Sheely, Assistant Director of the Institute of Food Production and Sustainability at NIFA. The Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) is funded through Dr Sheely’s institute. Funding for PRRS CAP will be discontinued in 2012, so we took the opportunity to describe to her the impact PRRS has had on the swine industry and the value of the research funded through the PRRS CAP program. We expressed our desire to see this funding continue beyond 2012 if possible.

The AASV leadership also had an opportunity to meet with their individual legislators on Capitol Hill to discuss legislation and funding concerns associated with swine health and production.

For additional information about our meetings in DC, please read the “Advocacy in action” column in the September-October issue of the Journal of Swine Health and Production.

To digest or not to digest…That is the question

To digest or not to digest? You DO have a choice - at least when it comes to receiving AASV-L messages. Some members have expressed dissatisfaction with the format of AASV-L messages, not realizing there are TWO options for AASV-L delivery: Digest Mode and Individual Mode. It DOES make a difference! Read on:

By default, all members receive AASV-L messages in Digest Mode. The advantage of Digest Mode is that you receive only one e-mail per day, which includes all of the AASV-L messages and responses submitted since the previous digest. A disadvantage to this mode is that the subject line is non-specific, and will say only “AASV Digest Volume xx, Issue xx” since the digest often contains multiple messages and topics. Thus you have to open the message and scroll through it to see if the topics under discussion are of interest to you. You may also find the digest message repetitive and difficult to navigate, particularly if discussion participants neglected to trim the original message(s) when sending their replies.

The alternative delivery format is Individual Mode. The advantage of Individual Mode is that you receive each individual message as soon as it is approved by the moderator. Each message has a distinct subject line that pertains specifically to the topic it addresses, so it’s easy to “screen” each message by subject and open only those that interest you. Also, the most recent response is right at the top of each individual message, where it is easy to find. The disadvantage of Individual Mode is that you will receive multiple e-mail messages in your inbox.

The choice is yours! If you want to receive fewer, less specific (but possibly longer and more repetitive) e-mails, choose Digest Mode. If you prefer to use the subject line to screen each message and don’t mind receiving multiple e-mail messages, then select Individual Mode.

Here’s how to check your current delivery format and make changes, if desired:

On the AASV Web site (www.aasv.org), scroll over the MEMBERS tab and select “Main Page” from the drop-down list. You will need your username and password to access this page. If you have forgotten your username or password, these can be obtained by providing your e-mail address in the box at the bottom of the AASV home page (www.aasv.org). Once you have accessed the Members-only Main Page (www.aasv.org/members/index.php), click on the AASV-L hyperlink in the third bullet point under your name. Voila! You have options!

As always, additional questions, comments, concerns, and suggestions are welcome at aasv@aasv.org, and technical support is available by contacting webmaster@aasv.org.

Penicillin residues in sows

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has recently reported a number of penicillin G violative residues in sows presented for processing. Historically, the US swine industry has experienced extremely low levels of antimicrobial residues detected at slaughter, so this occurrence raises concerns regarding the timing of antimicrobial use in sows intended for processing and the testing methodology currently being used by FSIS.

The AASV, the National Pork Board (NPB), and the National Pork Producers Council are working with FSIS to better understand the testing methodology currently in use to determine if extended withdrawal periods will be necessary to ensure compliance with the zero tolerance level applied to penicillin. We have also been in contact with one of the major penicillin manufacturers to inform them of the recent findings and discuss any necessary changes to the withdrawal recommendations.

This is a reminder to consult with your clients to ensure they are following appropriate withdrawal periods when using any antimicrobials in swine shipped to market, including cull sows and boars. With regard to penicillin use, be sure to remind producers that

1. Penicillin G is approved for use in swine only for the treatment of erysipelas,

2. The labeled dose rate for penicillin G is 3000 units per pound of body weight (1 mL per 100 pounds of body weight),

3. Any use for other indications or at a different dosage rate would be considered extra-label drug use and is only allowed under the direction of a veterinarian as outlined in AMDUCA,

4. Extra-label use also requires the application of an extended withdrawal period which may be difficult to achieve with cull animals, and

5. Long-acting penicillin (penicillin G benzathine) is not approved for use in swine, and thus any use would be considered extra-label.

The FDA-approved withdrawal period for penicillin G at the labeled dosage is 7 days in swine. However, the AASV and the National Pork Board have historically recommended an extended withdrawal period of at least 14 days to meet export requirements. Also note that the recommended voluntary withdrawal period for long-acting penicillin is 50 days to meet export requirements. A database of recommended withdrawal periods for export can be found on the NPB Web site at http://www.pork.org/Resources/214/MaximumResidueLimits.aspx.

FMD Pocket Guide now available for purchase

American Association of Swine Veterinarians members in the United States recently received a copy of the “Foot-and-Mouth Disease Educational Pocket Guide.” The laminated flipchart contains photos illustrating lesions associated with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in domestic and feral swine. This pocket guide was developed through a cooperative agreement funded by United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and is the collaborative effort of AASV, Iowa State University’s Center for Food Security and Public Health, National Pork Board, and USDA APHIS.

We have received a number of requests for additional copies of the guide and requests from international members as well. The guide is now available for purchase from Iowa State University’s Center for Food Security and Public Health. You may order online at http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/Products/pocket-guide-for-domestic-and-feral-swine.php.

2012 NAHMS Swine Study

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plans to conduct a 2012 swine-focused National Animal Health Monitoring Study (NAHMS). Starting in 1990, APHIS, in collaboration with the National Agricultural Statistics Service, has conducted a national survey of the swine industry approximately every 5 years. The American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the National Pork Board support this effort and encourage the participation of swine veterinarians and producers.

The purposes of this study will be to

• Describe current US swine production
practices, including general management practices, housing practices, productivity, disease prevention, and mortality for five phases of production: gestation, farrowing, nursery, grow-finish, and wean-to-finish,

• Describe trends in swine health and management practices,

• Determine the prevalence and associated risk factors for select respiratory, neurologic, gastrointestinal, systemic, and food-borne pathogens found in weaned-to-market hogs,

• Describe antibiotic usage patterns in weaned-to-market hogs to control and treat disease and promote growth;

• Evaluate the presence of or exposure to select pathogens and characterize isolated organisms from the collection of biological specimens, and

• Estimate the economic cost of a selected respiratory, neurologic, gastrointestinal, systemic, or food-borne pathogen found in commercial swine herds.

As has been the case with previous studies, the Swine 2012 study will consist of an initial screening questionnaire, several on-farm questionnaires, and biologic sampling. All of these activities will be administered by National Agricultural Statistics Service USDA designated data collectors. The information collected through the Swine 2012 study will be analyzed and used to

• Direct producer education,

• Identify research gaps,

• Facilitate education of future producers and veterinarians,

• Assess quality assurance programs, and

• Help with policy formation.

The Federal Register Notice can be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0084-0001.

Just do it! Nominate a worthy member for an AASV award

The presentation of the AASV awards is one of the highlights of the annual meeting. The meaning and impact for the award winners is immeasurable. We all know AASV members whose dedication to the association and the swine industry are worthy of recognition. Do not assume others will come forward and nominate members if you do not step up to bring forward names for consideration. Make sure you do your part and nominate worthy members for recognition. Reflect, identify, and move forward. The nomination letters do not need to be lengthy, detailed, or all inclusive.

Do it now. Do not procrastinate. Do not be telling yourself in January, “I should have gotten that done.” It is up to YOU.

The AASV Awards Committee requests nominations for the following five awards to be presented at the upcoming AASV Annual Meeting in Denver.

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 Year – Given annually to a swine veterinarian who is an AASV member, 5 years or less post graduation (DVM received 2006 to 2010), 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 50220–2328; Fax: 515-465-3832; E-mail: aasv@aasv.org.

Applicants sought for alternate student delegate on AASV Board of Directors

The AASV Student Recruitment Committee is accepting applications for veterinary students interested in serving as the alternate student delegate on the AASV Board of Directors. This student will represent student interests and serve as a nonvoting member of the AASV board. This experience will provide the student with a unique perspective of the inner workings of the AASV. The term of service is 2 years: the first year as alternate student delegate, and the second year as the student delegate.

The alternate student delegate and student delegate are required to attend the AASV board’s two meetings each year: the spring meeting held during the AASV Annual Meeting and the fall meeting, which is usually held in October. The student delegate presents a summary of board activities to the student membership at the student breakfast during the AASV Annual Meeting, and should reemphasize all student opportunities in AASV to the AASV student members at that time. In addition, the delegate and alternate delegate are voting members of the AASV Student Recruitment Committee, and are invited to participate in committee conference calls and meetings. The delegates receive reimbursement to cover travel and lodging expenses for the fall board meeting and transportation expenses for the spring meeting.

Interested students must be members of AASV, in their freshman or sophomore year. Applicants are required to submit the following documentation to the AASV (830 26th Street, Perry, IA 50220–2328; E-mail: aasv@aasv.org).

1. An introductory letter, not to exceed one page, explaining why they want to serve as the alternate student delegate for AASV and their level of interest and background in swine medicine.

2. A one- or two-page resume featuring the student’s interest and experience in production medicine, particularly swine medicine.

3. A statement of recommendation from a faculty member.

The deadline for submission of necessary documentation is November 14, 2011. The delegate will be chosen by members of the AASV Student Recruitment Committee following review of the submitted materials. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision the week of December 12.

The term of service is 2 years, beginning at the AASV Annual Mefeting. During the first year, the student will serve as the alternate student delegate. The alternate delegate will automatically succeed as student delegate, beginning at the annual meeting the following year. The alternate delegate will serve in the capacity of delegate if the selected student delegate is unable to carry out his or her duties. Each year, a new alternate delegate is selected by the AASV Student Recruitment Committee.

Questions may be directed to the chair of the AASV Student Recruitment Committee, Dr Dyneah Classen, dclassen@hogvet.com.

NPIF internship program renewed: practitioners sought to mentor students

The AASV Foundation is pleased to announce that the National Pork Industry Foundation (NPIF) has renewed funding for the NPIF Internship Stipend for 2011-2012. This will be the fourth year for the program, which provides internship opportunities to six veterinary students who have an interest in swine medicine but limited means to gain experience early in their education.

The AASV Student Recruitment Committee (AASV-SRC) developed the program to link each selected first- or second-year veterinary student with a practitioner mentor for 1 year. During the summer, the student is required to spend 1 month under the practitioner’s guidance in the field. The $3300 stipend provided to each student is meant to defer costs of travel, lodging, and compensation for the 1-month period. In addition, the student is encouraged to attend both the AASV Annual Meeting and the Leman Conference.

The AASV-SRC is seeking six US swine practitioners to be mentors for the students. Commitments include answering one student’s questions regarding the industry throughout the year and hosting the student for a minimum of 1 month in the summer.

If you are interested in being a practitioner mentor, please contact Dr Amanda Sponheim at amanda.sponheim@boehringer-ingelheim.com.