Importance of Biosecurity During Fair Season

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Don Wick


Dr. Lisa Becton, Director Swine Health Information & Research, National Pork Board




Don Wick:  00:04  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. This is Don Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork Checkoff and today our guest is Dr. Lisa Becton who is the Ddirector of Swine Health Information and Research for the National Pork Board. And Lisa we’re getting into that fair season. Biosecurity is always important in the in the pork industry but perhaps even more so when we’re moving a lot of pigs. Give us your thoughts.

Dr. Lisa Becton:  00:35  Yes we’re focusing on that this year really. Again more of a reminder for people of basic biosecurity steps. Seneca Valley viruses has seen an upswing in cases. So we want people to be aware of it but also just to be prepared for other diseases like influenza, PED, PERs those type things.

Don Wick:  00:56  So what are some of those biosecurity recommendations that we should keep in mind?

Dr. Lisa Becton:  01:02  There are some pretty basic things. One of the biggest really is to have clean and disinfected equipment and so to make sure that your trailers are cleaned in-between every time that you use. Them make sure they’re free of organic material and then use disinfectant by label directions. The same goes for your show box, for brushes, for whips, for any kind of feeding pans, boots other things like just monitor your pigs daily. And if you see them looking off or not looking the way you would expect to let your veterinarian know or your advisor know so that they can do a health check on the pig. Other things like not sharing equipment is important because you don’t know the status of even your neighbor’s pigs or someone else’s. So those are some of the key basic things.

Don Wick:  01:50  We’re concerned obviously with the health of those animals with exhibitors too are things we should keep in mind for the kids or people’s part of this.

Dr. Lisa Becton:  01:58  Sure. You know it really is important to be vigilant because in the summertime the heat can mask something so pigs may be a little bit off feed just if the weather’s really hot. But you know making sure that that people aren’t doing you know a lot of sharing of things and trying to keep animals segregated as possible. Also if there is a problem to at least alert the show veterinarian or your home veterinarian as much as possible. Other things like keeping your pigs isolated if if you have other hogs onsite in addition to your show pigs making sure you take care to have separation between those two groups. So that way you’re not bringing anything back that you don’t want and the rest of your pigs.

Don Wick:  02:39  You mentioned some increases with Seneca Valley virus,  it’s a complex issue because it mirrors a lot of what we see with FMD. Correct?

Dr. Lisa Becton:  02:47  That is correct. Seneca Valley is is of concern. It can get pigs sick it’s not a disease of humans. But the issue with it, it looks exactly the same as foot and mouth disease which is something we don’t want to get into the United States. And so it’s really important when people start to see you know blisters on their pig’s nose or even on their feet or notice animals going lame. You know very hard lame to really let somebody know because the only way you can tell those two diseases apart is through veterinary diagnostic tests and whether that’s a piece of a swab from the animal or a blood test. But it’s really really important to make sure that you can identify it and then let your veterinarian know so they can take steps to determine what it is.

Don Wick:  03:36  What kind of new protocols should be in place to be proactive in this kind of thing?

Dr. Lisa Becton:  03:41  Sure. You know again a lot of basic husbandry really to make sure that you observe your pigs on a day to day basis which I know a lot of the kids that are showing do such a tremendous job. But just to really kind of observe the animal is eating OK? Is it moving around fine? Does he have anything unusual on his lips, tongue or nose or anything like that? But then also if there is something identified it’s really good to have a sheet somewhere. You know either in your barn or near your pigs that gives you the number of your veterinarian or other advisers that you could call that way you don’t have to go search for it when when a problem does arise. And then also having a way to isolate that animal away from other pigs that aren’t effective. That’s a really important piece to do this well.

Don Wick:  04:28  Is there some resources available from the Pork Checkoff that will be able to focus on these issues?

Dr. Lisa Becton:  04:33    Yes we do have a lot of information on basic bio security at If you go under the resources tab and PED the lot of the bio security information we had was for PED but it really works for all diseases. And then we do work with our sister organization the swine Health Information Center. They have more detailed information on the Seneca Valley Virus specifically and so their resources has a lot more detailed information on Seneca Valley. And then we will have a companion piece coming out for shows and exhibitions specifically for Seneca Valley virus here in the next few days.

Don Wick:  05:20  Dr. Lisa Becton from the Pork Checkoff.  Thanks to you for listening to this edition of Pork Pod. For more information on this topic or the Pork Checkoff itself, visit