March and April, 1997

Salmonella levels low

The USDA's National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) has found low levels of Salmonella in United States finishing hogs.

NAHMS found evidence of Salmonella in finishing pens on about one-third of the operations involved in the 16-state Swine '95 study. Participants from 152 operations submitted a total of 6655 fecal samples from their herds to be tested by the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories and National Animal Disease Center. Results showed evidence of this organism in 6.0% of the samples originating from 38 percent of the operations. Of the 988 pens tested, 173 (17.5%) had at least one positive sample.

"The majority of existing information on Salmonella isolates from swine was collected on hogs showing signs of illness. Results of the NAHMS Swine '95 study have provided a national picture of the presence of various Salmonella isolates found in clinically normal swine," says Dr. Eric Bush, NAHMS Swine Commodity Specialist.

"Many of the isolates we found seldom cause visible signs of illness in pigs, and some pose health problems for humans," adds Dr. Bush. "We're interested in those that effect the pork industry economically and are important to humans as foodborne pathogens."

Salmonella can be introduced into a herd by carrier hogs, the environment, rodents, or feed. NAHMS Swine '95 producers were invited to submit feed samples to be tested for Salmonella contamination. Seventeen of 300 participating operations (5.7%) had contaminated samples, and results implied possible relationships between geography and feed types. For more information on the NAHMS Swine '95 study or Salmonella prevalences from NAHMS dairy studies, contact: Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health; USDA:APHIS:VS, Attn. NAHMS; 555 South Howes; Fort Collins, Colorado 80521; Telephone: (970) 490-8000; E-mail:; or web site: (Editors' note... since publication in Swine Health and Production, this web page has gone off-line.)

Public Relations Committee report

The Public Relations Committee of the AASP was given the directive in 1992 to "go forth and do something." Five years later, we continue to hone our efforts to create an awareness of our members' abilities in the eyes of our market, the North American pork producer.

The initiation of the AASP booth at the World Pork Expo was a start. We are constantly discussing ways to best use this resource. Strengthening ties with the NPPC has been a priority that will be further advanced by becoming a PQA partner. Our message has been that AASP members are the single best source of production information available to the industry. That message will be repeated more often in the future.

Chairing a committee with the professional and geographic diversity of this one has been made easy by the dedication to our Association shown by each committee member. A since thank you to Doug Kern, John Kolb, Tim Martin, Bruce McClain, Brian Roggow, Connie Schmidt, Mike Senn, Lisa Tokach, and Teddi Wolf is in order. The Committee will continue under the direction of Brian Roggow. Suggestions and offers of assistance are welcome.

--Dave Madsen
Chair (retired), Public Relations Committee