News from NPPC

Pork Industry Joins Together To Say "One Is Too Many"

The National Pork Producers' Council has kicked off a campaign this winter to increase awareness of the importance of preventing physical hazards in pork products. Information addressing the issue of broken needles has been sent to packers and US AASV members as part of the "One Is Too Many" program. Even though keeping pork products free of broken needles begins with producers on the farm, veterinarians also play an important role in preventing this situation from occurring.

A survey of 256 producers during the 2000 World Pork Expo revealed that 82 percent were aware that broken needles could cause concerns for the industry; 74 percent of producers surveyed were supportive of a standard operating procedure (SOP) for needle use. Veterinarians could be a tremendous resource in creating written SOP's for their producers' operations. Each SOP should include specific guidelines for identifying injection sites on the pig, criteria for needle selection, procedures for changing needles, and a firm policy of never straightening a bent needle. Everyone responsible for giving injections should be thoroughly trained. Points to consider in developing SOPs are listed on the laminated barn poster sent to US AASV members.

The goal of "One Is Too Many" is simple -- that no one will ever find a broken needle in pork at the dinner table. With cooperation among producers, veterinarians, needle manufacturers, and packers, the pork industry can maintain its ability to provide a safe product.

For further information, contact Dr. Paul Sundberg, Assistant Vice President, Veterinary Issues at NPPC, 515-223-2764.

PRV Awareness Critical During Winter Months

The pork industry is getting closer to reaching its goal of complete eradication of Pseudorabies. NPPC has promoted awareness of the danger of this virus spreading between swine herds during the crucial winter months.

The five media days sponsored by NPPC last fall served to encourage newspapers and radio stations to help spread the word throughout Iowa and southern Minnesota about adequate vaccination, biosecurity, regulations, and other issues relating to PRV. Media kits were mailed to reporters to encourage them to cover PRV eradication efforts.

While these efforts resulted in more information reaching producers, Dr. Paul Sundberg, Assistant Vice President, Veterinary Issues at NPPC, says now is the time to make sure producers are aware of this disease hazard. "Winter is a dangerous time for PRV transmission," Sundberg said. "Preventing outbreaks of PRV this winter is going to be critical to the national eradication effort. It's important to provide support to producers and help them protect their swine herds."

Vaccinations and biosecurity are keys to making it through the winter with healthy animals. NPPC is doing its part to ensure PRV becomes nothing more than a distant memory for the pork industry.

Updated Swine Care Handbook To Be Released

Research and technology in the pork industry are continually evolving. To accommodate these changes and reflect the latest knowledge in swine care, NPPC is in the process of updating its Swine Care Handbook. This publication provides pork producers with comprehensive information on safe, humane, and efficient production practices. A copy of the revised handbook will be sent to US AASV members when it is completed later this year.

PORK 101 Classes Provide In-Depth Study of Production and Quality

PORK 101 is a 3-day course organized jointly by the NPPC in conjunction with the National Pork Board and the American Meat Science Association for the updating of participants on pork quality and consistency issues. This course provides a first-hand look at all aspects of the pork industry from live animals to end product. Anyone involved in the industry is encouraged to participate, including producers, researchers, educators, food and drug company representatives, genetics specialists, veterinarians, packers, processors, merchandisers, foodservice workers, retailers, and media.

Trucker Quality Assurance Program Plans to Improve Livestock Transportation

In an effort to heighten awareness of the care needed in handling livestock, NPPC is developing a Trucker Quality Assurance (TQA) Program. Though still in the planning stages, this program will provide standards and information designed for live hog truckers on loading, transport, unloading, and biosecurity. Input has been received from producers, packers, veterinarians, genetics companies, and transportation representatives, with implementation of the program planned for later this year.

Small Plants Aim for High Standards Through Salmonella Program

The Salmonella Intervention Assistance Program is sending teams of professional meat scientists and microbiologists into packing plants requesting a voluntary evaluation of their practices regarding Salmonella. This program is aimed at small- to medium-sized packing plants and uses producer checkoff funds to provide the inspections at no cost to the plant. The teams perform visual evaluations and make recommendations on where the plants can make improvements to help meet existing USDA Salmonella Performance Standards. Any findings are strictly confidential and have no regulatory ramifications. Eight plants participated in the program last year, and visits are being scheduled for fourteen additional plants this winter. For more information, contact Dr. Michele Senne, Director of Pork Safety for NPPC, at 515-223-3533 or

2001 dates and locations for PORK 101 are as follows:


  • Iowa State University, Ames, IA March 5-7
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, TX May 21-23
  • Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS June 11-13
  • Colorado State University, Ft Collins, CO August 1-3
  • Michigan State University, E Lansing, MI August 20-22
  • Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK September 10-12
  • Pennsylvania State University, State College, PN September 17-19
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE November 6-8
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA November 28-30

For registration information, contact Dr. David Meisinger,
Assistant Vice President of Pork Quality at NPPC at 515-223-2767,