Pork Checkoff Director of Swine Health Programs Patrick Webb offers insight into the threat of foreign animal disease and the infrastructure in place to deal with these challenges. Premises Identification is one very important element.
Patrick Webb, Director of Swine Health Programs, 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 topic in today’s pork industry. The Pork Checkoff is working for you through various forms of research, promotion, and consumer information projects. This is Don Wick on behalf of the Pork Checkoff and today our guest is Patrick Webb, director of Swine Health Programs for the National Pork Board. And certainly we continue to monitor the situation of African Swine Fever and other foreign animal diseases. It really, Patrick, highlights the importance of premises ID.
Patrick Webb: 00:31 Yeah, You know the infrastructure that we have here in the U. S is vital to our response efforts and as part of that, producers play a critical role in preparedness and probably the cornerstone of all preparedness is a premises identification with a nationally standardized prem ID. This has been an initiative that the National Pork Board, along with National Pork Producers Council and American Association of Swine Veterinarians, have been pushing for years and years and years as part of a valid pre harvest traceability system. But for the producers out there, the way you think about your prem ID, it’s kind of like your 911 address and if you don’t have one of those, if there’s an agricultural emergency, it’s very hard for your state animal health officials to know where you are and help you out.
Don Wick: 01:14 And really that prem ID is kind of the first step is you, as you look at that entire plan.
Patrick Webb: 01:19 Yeah, it sure is. It is. It is that one key bit of information that you can use to tie all sorts of different bits of information and data that would be needed in an outbreak. And so, you know, currently we have a very high rate of premises registration in the pork industry today. But there’s some critical things that producers need to look at right now. You know, when you went, when, as a producer, you may have registered your premises over 10 years ago as part of our educational initiative to increase our traceability in our premises registration. And you know, what we need to do now is think about, all right, how do we help our animal health officials to keep accurate information in their data? And so we have the ability for pork producers to go to pork.org and validate the premises identification numbers and they can put them into the system and it will return a basically it will return a bit of information says yes, this is indeed a valid premises.
Patrick Webb: 02:15 And then it will also return the street address. What we want producers to do is take that street address that returns out of our system and look at your database and make sure that those addresses line up and that those addresses are indeed where the pigs are located. If there’s a discrepancy or if the premises ID isn’t associated with the area where the farm or where the pigs are or there’s a discrepancy in the address, those things need to be rectified with the state animal health official in the state where the premises is registered.
Don Wick: 02:44 So, how easy is that to get that job done?
Patrick Webb: 02:47 It’s not too hard. You know, uh, if you go to pork.org on our premises verification page, you just pop your prem ID in there and you hit the button and it’ll do the work for you and then you just have to compare, if there is an issue just a quick call to the state animal health officials office and you talk to the animal disease traceability person and they should be able to help with reconciling the information in the databases. But you know, that’s just part of our, you know, just overall preparedness is that all producers should have a prem ID number. Those prem ID numbers should be related to where the animals actually are. But the premise ID number is also very important for business continuity. If we do get into a situation where we have African Swine Fever in the United States, we need a, we need a plan for those producers that may be wrapped up in disease control areas and not allowed to move for them to be able to actually differentiate themselves so they can move. And as part of that, they need to have premises identification numbers for their production sites in order to start that first part of secure pork in getting prepared.
Don Wick: 03:50 Certainly we’ve heard a lot about African Swine Fever and the other foreign animal diseases out there from a biosecurity standpoint, or I guess just even just being alert, what should producers be looking for when they’re looking at their own pigs?
Patrick Webb: 04:03 Yep. That’s good. You know, I tell you, we have a ton of information at, at National Pork Board. If you just go to pork.org/fad, a lot of our information that’s available for pork producers related to awareness can be found there. You know, it really is an issue of what you’re seeing every day. And if you suspect that there may be something different that’s of concern, let’s say you, you might think that you potentially could have African Swine Fever, you know, the importance of reporting to the state animal health officials in any of those types of occurrences is just vital for early detection, which is what we really need for African Swine Fever is the earliest detection possible.
Patrick Webb: 04:39 And so you know, getting your employees familiar with what those clinical signs look like, you know, we also have to worry about Foot and Mouth Disease and Classical Swine Fever. They’re not here either. But could get over here as well, you know, just going and getting your folks trained up to look at those diseases or see what those look like and potentially how you’d report them. And then there’s also just a good old biosecurity, you know, make sure your biosecurity plans are in place. Make sure that your employees are abiding by those in situations where we would, if we got into an African Swine Fever outbreak and enhanced biosecurity plans going to be needed and pork producers can go to securepork.org and actually download an enhanced biosecurity plan a template that would help them actually develop some enhanced biosecurity there.
Patrick Webb: 05:29 It’s just another part of that business continuity planning that we need. Not only do we need to know where folks are, we need to know that they have the biosecurity in place. And then we also need to know other things you related to the status of the site, and that really goes back to the importance of the prem ID and that you know, we’re saying get one for your site and that way folks know where you are and how to communicate with you. But you can also use that number, you can associate it with your diagnostic laboratory samples so they go into the lab, you should be associating prem ID’s with your movement records. Those prem ID’s should be on the bills of lading as they to go to harvest and we can’t forget about the old premises ID tag, the approved USDA premises ID tag for sows and boars that are heading up market channels. You know, kind of allows the opportunity for the industry to link all those important bits and pieces of information that an animal health official would need in an outbreak to help make sure that our producers can remain in business so as long as they’re not infected by the disease.
Don Wick: 06:27 You talk about the website as something for awareness. You guys have a newsletter as well that can help producers.?
Patrick Webb: 06:34 We sure do. We just released our October newsletter, um, pork producers can go to pork.org and download a copy of that. You can also go to www.pork.org/fad and on that one, we also have our FAD bulletins that we put out every other week that give producers the most up to date information that we have about African Swine Fever as well as a lot of other good pieces and parts that help producers understand where they can go to a pick up information regarding biosecurity, disease awareness, preparedness. We’ve got all sorts of resources for pork producers that would help them with their preparedness at the, at the local level.
Don Wick: 07:15 Patrick Webb from the Pork Checkoff. Thank you for listening to this edition of Pork Pod. For more information on this topic or the Pork Checkoff itself, visit pork.org.