News from the NPPC

Toxoplasma fact sheet

Included in this issue of JSHAP is a fact sheet on Toxoplasma gondii written by Dr. Ray Gamble from the Agricultural Research Service and provided by the NPPC and the American Meat Science Association. In recent years, there has been increased interest in the potential role that consumption of undercooked pork may have in human toxoplasmosis. At this time, we are only able to include these fact sheets in JSHAP issues delivered within the U.S.

Foreign-Animal-Disease- Awareness video

Now available from the NPPC is a 15-minute video that presents educational information on the threat of foreign swine diseases to the American pork industry. It includes information on how producers and veterinarians can help prevent the occurrence of these diseases in the United States, with specific recommendations for on-farm biosecurity, information on the efforts of industry and government to better protect the pork industry, and clinical pictures of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Classical Swine Fever, and African Swine Fever lesions.

This video could be used at producer meetings to reinforce the importance of biosecurity practices to protect the individual herd and the nation's pork industry. A complementary copy of the video is being sent to AASV members in the United States.

NPPC/AASV biosecurity checklists

Preventing the introduction of disease agents is a continuous challenge for pork producers and veterinarians. The NPPC and AASV have developed three new tools to help producers assess biosecurity measures on their farms. Three checklists help point out areas of herd biosecurity strengths and weaknesses.

The Supply Herd Biosecurity Index determines the level of biosecurity of herds supplying seedstock for the industry. Producers should ask their seedstock suppliers to use this index.

The Indirect Spread Biosecurity Index reflects the risk of disease entering the herd through indirect spread.

The Isolation Biosecurity Index measures the risk of disease entering the herd with swine that are being introduced into the herd.

These checklists were created by Dr. Morgan Morrow of North Carolina State University, and have been field tested, reviewed, and revised by the NPPC/AASV Biosecurity Working Group, the NPPC Swine Health Committee, and the AASV Swine Health Committee. The checklists will be available in March 2001.

PRRS Workbook/Discussion guide

The NPPC Swine Health Committee, the AASV Swine Health Committee, and the AASV PRRS Subcommittee have developed a PRRS Workbook/Discussion Guide. The workbook guides practitioners and producers through on-farm evaluations of PRRS problems and can be used to discuss PRRS control and/or preventive measures, and facilitate the development of an individual plan for farms.

Tripartite Foot-and-Mouth Disease test exercise

From November 6 to 9, the NPPC participated in a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak simulation involving Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This is the first time the three countries have conducted an exercise of this nature. The goal was to practice the international response to the simulated outbreak. Plans developed jointly were tested, including an emergency communications plan, the protocol for a FMD vaccination program, the decision tree for FMD vaccine use, and execution of the contract of the North American FMD vaccine bank.

In conjunction with the national exercise, field exercises took place in Texas, Alberta and Ontario, Canada, and Tamaulipas, Mexico. The NPPC Swine Health Committee provided input on key producer issues such as compensation for vaccinated animals, producer education, and the economic impact of movement restrictions and loss of export markets.

NPPC staff change

Dr. Dave Pyburn, NPPC Director of Veterinary Science, recently joined USDA as the Trichinae Program Leader.