In this file:


·         SHIC 2019 Plan of Work Addresses Pork Industry Concerns

·         Pork Industry Hopes for the Best, Plans for the Worst



SHIC 2019 Plan of Work Addresses Pork Industry Concerns


By Jennifer Shike, Farm Journal's Pork, Editor

via AgWeb - February 8, 2019


Protecting the U.S. swine herd isn’t for the faint of heart. From monitoring global disease threats and identifying opportunities to mitigate risks to helping producers identify and respond to emerging disease challenges, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC)’s 2019 Plan of Work addresses key issues facing the country’s growing swine herd.


“Since inception, the clear goal has been to create and maintain a resource that is able to respond to the needs of our industry quickly and with adequate resources to make a difference,” says Matthew Turner, SHIC board member.


Improving transportation biosecurity was a consistent theme brought up by producers last year and is a key priority for 2019, says Paul Sundberg, DVM, executive director of SHIC. The SHIC-funded and -directed projects will look for innovative, cost-effective ways to stop pathogen transfer to the farm.


“I’m optimistic research can demonstrate low-cost, implementable procedures to help prevent that transmission of disease,” Sundberg says. “We plan to take a deeper look at on-farm procedures when trucks come onto the farm.”


SHIC will also continue adding to the body of knowledge about potential risks of feed transmission of pathogens. SHIC will support research into ways to mitigate those potential risks. USDA and FDA say there isn’t enough information to consider pathogen transport via imported feed products a risk, because there is still little objective information. Part of the 2019 Plan of Work is to quickly get data and information to support an objective risk assessment that will prioritize where prevention needs to happen.


If contaminated feed component products are imported, those pathogens could be spread within the country during feed processing. Sundberg says they will work to better understand how pathogens are distributed in the mill and investigate cost-effective procedures to prevent distribution or disinfect the facilities.


“This research is urgent–it’s not a multi-year project,” he adds. “We need information as quickly as possible.”


SHIC’s ability to be nimble enough to fill in research gaps as needed and adjust priorities as issues arise is a key strength, Sundberg says.


SHIC will continue its Global and Domestic Swine Disease Monitoring Report projects. The value of the Global Swine Disease Monitoring Report was evident during the beginning of the epidemic spread of African swine fever (ASF) last year. These reports take advantage of the SHIC-funded standardized disease reporting from the major swine diagnostic labs. Looking at a coordinated disease reporting system helps ensure that an emerging disease will not go undetected. And quick detection is key to quick response, Sundberg adds. 


He is excited about...


more, including links



Pork Industry Hopes for the Best, Plans for the Worst


Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork

February 8, 2019


The science, research and innovation that goes into producing a pound of pork today is incredible. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to pursue this role as editor of Farm Journal’s PORK. I’m not sure there’s a greater group of minds in all of agriculture than the movers and shakers of the U.S. swine industry. And quite simply, there’s no better job than this one to find out what makes these leaders tick and to glean from their knowledge.


Every day I get to talk with amazing people who tirelessly pursue excellence — for the good not only of their company, but also for global pork production. I just got off the phone with Paul Sundberg, executive director of the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC). We visited about SHIC’s work plan for 2019. If you haven’t looked at the research projects they have planned, go check it out.


A Reason to Celebrate


As he thinks about the year ahead, he’s full of reasons to be optimistic and reasons to be cautious. Sundberg says he hopes for the best and plans for the worst. He’s looking forward to new opportunities to analyze big data sets to help advance the needle on swine health.


“I’m excited about being able to provide information back to producers as quickly as possible that can help them on their farms,” Sundberg says.


For the past couple of years, Sundberg and others have worked to standardize the way major veterinary diagnostic laboratories catalog and report testing results. SHIC can now take information from diagnostic labs and look for regional trends and merging diseases in nearly real-time, he says.


“If a disease is showing up in Georgia and they send it to Lab A to be analyzed while the same disease shows up in Pennsylvania and gets reported to Lab B, we can now look at what’s going on throughout the country to determine if there are trends taking place or issues arising,” Sundberg says.


Think Globally, Act Locally ...