SHIC to improve biosecurity from weaning to harvest

The new program will be implemented over the next two years

September 22, 2022

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This summer, the board of directors of the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) voted to proceed with a collaborative effort to focus on biosafety from weaning to harvest. SHIC, together with the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, an organization that promotes viable science to develop tools, technologies and information for the benefit of farmers, consumers and the environment, and Pork Checkoff, will fund a weaning biosafety program a harvest to be implemented over the next two years.

“Biosecurity from weaning to harvest is a complex issue for our industry that has been developing for many years,” noted SHIC Associate Director Megan Niederwerder. “This research program will seek innovative and cost-effective solutions to a significant biosecurity gap in US pig production.”

SHIC will contribute $ 1 million in reallocated funds from its current budget to the weaning-to-harvest biosafety program and FFAR will provide $ 1.15 million for the effort. “FFAR envisions a world where every person has access to nutritious and affordable food grown on thriving farms,” ​​said Saharah Moon Chapotin, executive director of FFAR. “Our partnership with SHIC and Pork Checkoff to support the bold research needed to develop solutions to safeguard US pig health will bring us closer to achieving this vision.”

The Pork Checkoff also contributes $ 150,000. By leveraging budget allocation with matching funds from FFAR and Checkoff, SHIC increases capacity and production for its mission to safeguard the health of the US pig herd.

“SHIC focuses on prevention and response to emerging diseases,” explained SHIC Executive Director Paul Sundberg. “Leading the industry to be proactive in controlling the next emerging disease instead of reacting after it gets here fulfills SHIC’s mission to protect and improve the health of US pig farms.”

Aggregate data from the SHIC-funded swine disease monitoring report shows that interruptions of PRRS and PED on farms tend to follow interruptions at weaning-collection sites. A recently published paper on a SHIC-funded project detailed how PRRS and PED negative pigs placed on sites from weaning to eventually become infected after placement. SHIC’s rapid response team investigated an Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae outbreak in the Midwest and exposed weaning-to-harvest biosecurity deficiencies in the area that contributed to the spread of the disease.

“The intent is to ensure that the solutions are implementable and deliver significant value to manufacturers,” said Niederwerder. “Research priorities will be developed in three areas: bioexclusion to prevent the introduction of diseases into livestock, biocontainment to prevent the spread of diseases from farming to reduce the risks to neighbors and biosecurity of transport to prevent the movement of diseases. from markets and concentration points in livestock. We are looking for new tools in all three areas for a comprehensive approach to biosecurity “.

As part of the Wean-to-Harvest biosecurity program, SHIC established two task forces to develop specific and searchable priorities for the thematic areas of transport biosecurity and site bioexclusion and biocontainment. With members from across the industry and academia, the Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Site Task Force and the Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Transport Task Force met virtually to discuss priorities and ensure coordination in the meat industry. swine, so there is no overlap in surveys and research providing the maximum return on investment. The priorities and instructions of the call for proposals will be published on the Wean-to-Harvest biosafety program page of the SHIC website as soon as they are completed. SHIC will facilitate proposal review and contractual procedures.

SHIC acknowledges that the job will not be straightforward and may take some time to complete. Requests for proposals for related research will be sent as soon as possible so that projects can begin properly. Due to the expected seasonal effects and differences in costs and capabilities to implement biosecurity, some projects will likely have to cross seasons, taking at least a year. However, SHIC says significant preliminary results will be shared immediately on the SHIC website’s Wean-to-Harvest biosecurity program page and via other communications.

FFAR builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing major food and agricultural challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public investment in agricultural research, fill knowledge gaps, and complement the USDA research agenda. The FFAR model combines federal congressional funding with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances viable science for the benefit of farmers, consumers and the environment.

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