|I think first and foremost, being a part of the Secure Pork Supply plan is a huge part of that because it outlines a lot of the different things producers can do, including having a herd veterinary relationship or relationship with a state veterinarian and also incorporating enhanced bio-security into their day to day operations.|
Lisa Becton, Dir. Swine Health Information & Research, National Pork Board
Don Wick: 00:00 From the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines, Iowa. It’s Pork Pod. Pork Pod, a look at the hot topics in today’s pork industry. The Pork Checkoff is working for you through various forms of research, promotion, and consumer information projects. I’m Don Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork Checkoff and today our guest is Dr. Lisa Becton, who is the director of Swine Health Information and Research for the National Pork Board. African swine fever has been a part of our reality for over 15 months now. Dr. Becton, give us an idea. What have we learned? Where are we today as we deal with African swine fever?
Lisa Becton: 00:36 You know, I think we’re, we’re in a better place than where we were even a year ago. We’ve been watching this progress across China and across other parts of Asia, and it’s, it’s been a very disconcerting feeling, I think for everyone. But I also think that, you know, we’ve learned a lot of things about how it’s moving over there. We’re learning more and we’ve got partnerships to take advantage of some of that learning. You know, where it’s occurring right now. But I think what it’s done is really strengthened our resolve for preventing the disease. We don’t want to get it in here, but also understanding that we also need to be prepared and so we’ve put a lot of effort into that. Not just ourselves but NPPC, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians through our state and federal governments. I think everybody’s been very, very concerned and we’ve had a really good collaborative effort to understand what do we need to do to do better and to keep it out.
Don Wick: 01:23 At the producer level, what should be part of that prevention strategy?
Lisa Becton: 01:27 You know, really as we look at it, I think first and foremost, being a part of the Secure Pork Supply plan is a huge part of that because it outlines a lot of the different things producers can do, including having a herd veterinary relationship or relationship with a state veterinarian and also incorporating enhanced bio-security into their day to day operations. You know, things like having that line of separation outlined by their farm, having procedures for how to move vehicles in and out cleanly, but just even enhancing the normal day to day things that we do, shower in and out, cleaning trucks and trailers, you know, now that we’re getting into cold weather, how do we deal with cold temperatures in washing and drying trailers and equipment. And so the other component is looking at feed and feed mill bio-security and supplier bio-security. We know that research has showed us that feed can be a potential carrier and support viral growth. And so looking at steps that we can do to find out are the ingredients and feed stuff’s coming from another country and from a country with ASF or not. And then coming up with steps and plans to mitigate that.
Don Wick: 02:29 When we look at China, at least today, it’s been a lot of background type of pig operations. That’s really not the reality for much of the United States. Is that, does that have an influence on the disease spread?
Lisa Becton: 02:43 No, unfortunately I don’t think this disease discriminates on production type. If you’re a pig you could get the disease. But I think there is some, some advantage that we have at least within confinement that we can try to control things going in and out. We have a confined population that we can look at diseases and some of the indication overseas is that the disease is not as, while it’s devastating if a pig gets it, it doesn’t seem to be transmitting as fast within the farm, but we’re still monitoring that. Needless to say, we’ve got to be alert and aware and, and have producers educated that if they see something un-normal on their farm, call somebody immediately.
Don Wick: 03:21 China’s kind of that stirring pot though, not just ASF. They’ve got Foot and Mouth, they’ve got, they’ve got a lot of the diseases that we’re familiar with as well.
Lisa Becton 03:28 You’re right, there’s a lot of other diseases of concern, you know, specifically Foot and Mouth disease virus and Classical Swine Fever virus. And so those are two that we also don’t have the United States and we don’t want them. And so when we think of China, unfortunately it’s what they have, we don’t want. And so we still have to maintain our vigilance and making sure that we don’t bring those diseases in as well.
Don Wick: 03:50 If folks want more info where did it go?
Lisa Becton: 03:53 You can go to pork.org/fad and that’s got a whole plethora of resources from feed storage, bio-security to on-farm bio-security to secure pork supply plans so that pork.org/fad has got a lot of good information.