return to contentsNEWS FROM THE NPPC

Toxoplasma Working Group meeting

On October 4, 1999 Drs. Beth Lautner and Dave Pyburn participated in a meeting of the Toxoplasma Working Group held at the NPPC office in Des Moines. At this meeting, the top Toxoplasma researchers from the United States shared recent research findings and discussed future plans for Toxoplasma research. The group also discussed the development of good production practices relative to Toxoplasma and how these practices could be implemented and documented on farms, much like the Trichinae Herd Certification Projects. The prevalence of Toxoplasma infection in United States swine is declining due to on-farm management practices, but this parasite is still more prevalent in swine than Trichinae. The prevalence of infection in market swine is thought to be 3% or less based on several recent studies. While many warm-blooded animals can be hosts for the organism, the only place this parasite can complete its lifecycle and produce infective oocysts is in feline intestinal tracts. Therefore, all pork production sites must exclude cats and feline fecal material from both the swine facilities and feed production and/or storage facilities.

United States Animal Health Association (USAHA)
Annual Meeting

The USAHA Annual Meeting was held October 4-8, in San Diego, California. Several pork producers and NPPC staff attended this meeting and presented papers. The following resolutions were passed at the Pseudorabies Committee Meeting:

  • The USAHA requests that USDA-APHIS and state regulatory officials require pseudorabies-quarantined swine that move interstate for slaughter to be accompanied by a shipping permit VS Form 1-27 and be conveyed in sealed vehicles.
  • The USAHA requests that a working group be formed to review and formulate proposed language for changes to CFR Part 85 B Pseudorabies. The committee is to consist of five members; one from USDA-APHIS, one from the NPPC, one from the Program Standards Subcommittee, one from the National Pseudorabies Control Board, and one from NIAA. The charge of the committee is to formulate and present proposed language to the full Pseudorabies Committee for approval at the 2000 USAHA annual meeting.
  • The USAHA urges the USDA to work with states and the pork industry to ensure that funds for the APEP program are used for the greatest impact on the eradication of pseudorabies from United States swine herds.
  • The USAHA urges the USDA to work with the state of Iowa to improve surveillance in the feeding swine industry by investigating the possibility of performing effective and efficient slaughter surveillance in the packing plants.
  • The USAHA urges the Secretary of Agriculture to recognize the feral/wild swine threat as a high priority for funding for research through Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service (CSREES) and field studies through USDA-APHIS-VS. In particular, funding is necessary to:
    • - Conduct population studies needed to support the development of threat management strategies.
    • - Define the role of Brucella strain RB51 for use as a dual vaccine and conduct field trials to determine its efficacy.
    • - Conduct further studies and field trials in relation to swine brucellosis and pseudorabies infection in feral swine and their transmission to domestic swine.
  • The USAHA Pseudorabies Committee renews its request for the third year that USDA develop the proposed Plan for Interstate Shipment of Swine Within a Production System, or explain the reason for the lack of action.

Antimicrobial resistance

Dr. Paul Sundberg represented the United States pork industry at a Canadian meeting on antimicrobial resistance entitled, "Agriculture's Role in Managing Antimicrobial Resistance" in Toronto, Ontario. The conference brought together various Canadian government agencies, their pork, poultry, beef, and dairy industries, and other national and international experts in antimicrobial resistance to discuss Canadian efforts to address this issue. It is critical that the United States pork industry maintains its leading position in this issue as the national and international implications of antimicrobial resistance are discussed. In other related news the Food and Drug Administration has awarded a $30,000 grant to the pork industry to support the development of judicious antimicrobial use educational materials. The 1999 grant will enable the industry to supplement its current efforts to ensure that pork producers and their veterinarians have the best scientific information available about how judicious use principles apply to their operations.

--Submitted by Dave Pyburn, NPPC