National Pork Board: Collaboration is imperative to keep ASF out of the U.S.

Protecting the health of the U.S. swine herd through disease monitoring and research is a goal of the National Pork Board alongside the Swine Health Information Center. It began in 2015 with checkoff dollars.

African Swine Fever was detected in the Dominican Republic last year, but has so far been kept out of the United States, and it is why researchers with the Swine Health Information Center say collaboration is key to preventing a potentially costly outbreak.

“Swine health Information Center’s trying to do for producers is to fill a gap of not just foreign diseases that may be happening somewhere else, but also maybe something emerging within the country. And so that’s how we work together,” said Dr. Paul Sundberg.

The Chief Veterinarian at the National Pork Board says their collaboration with Swine Health Information Center not only benefits the producer but those tasked with protecting the herd, too.

“It’s great resource to go to, to find information on summaries of disease reports, we get the swine disease reporting system out there, regular updates that come to animal health professionals, veterinarians out there that are that are working with the farmers, they can be aware of disease trends by following reports that are provided by SHIC,” said Dr. Dusty Oedekoven.

NPB’s Oedekoven said the joint effort last year established an industry priority list for African Swine Fever preparedness.

“The need to deliver information to producers on how they can be better prepared, what do they need to do, what actions can they take to be better prepared for ASF. And along with that, a number of other priorities that have guided our work here. So, producer involvement is absolutely critical.”

Swine Health Information Center’s Dr. Sundberg wants to stress the main focus will always be getting the producer involved in as many programs as possible in order to give them the best chance at benefiting the industry.