The national pork checkoff has announced a plan to help pig farmers respond quickly and efficiently should a foreign animal disease outbreak occur in the U.S. It’s estimated that an outbreak of foot and mouth disease could cost the pork and beef industries $12.8 billion dollars per year. At World Pork Expo the National Pork Board rolled out the Secure Pork Supply Plan, a program that will help producers enrolled in the program to get production back to normal much faster than those who do not participate. Dr. Patrick Webb is director of swine health programs for the Pork Checkoff.
“If I’m a producer and located in a disease controlled area but do not have the disease, but I’m under a stop movement, what are those things I can do to demonstrate to the State Veterinarian that I’m okay and I need to move my pigs and can you approve that movement for me,” Webb explained.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, says after dealing with avian influenza in 2015, he sees real value in the program.
“It’s very important to put a plan together, the kinds of connections that happen, to think about how you would respond on your own farm, how you dispose of animals, what your testing protocol are, what kind of observations you have, all those things are really important to be able to do.”
Earlier this week the National Pork Board allocated an additional $1.6 million in the Secure Pork Supply Plan.
(Story by Dave Russell)