Secure Pork Supply plan seeks to minimize disruption from foreign animal diseases
The National Pork Board, with major support from USDA, is creating a Secure Pork Supply plan to help America’s pig farmers respond quickly and successfully to a major threat, such as a foreign animal disease (FAD).
The plan will enhance communication and coordination of all pork chain segments to help producers keep their farms operating and all related business activities functioning.
“We’re thankful that our country has not experienced a disease such as foot-and-mouth (FMD) since 1929,” said Terry O’Neel, president, National Pork Board.
“However, if we get the news that FMD, African swine fever or another foreign animal disease has arrived, the Secure Pork Supply plan will pay big dividends by getting pork production back to normal much faster.”
An Iowa State University study estimates potential revenue losses to US pork and beef industries from an FMD outbreak would run $12.8 billion per year or $128 billion over a 10-year period. Related losses to corn and soybean markets over a decade would be $44 billion and $24.9 billion, respectively.
The Secure Pork Supply plan will provide procedures that pork producers, processors and federal/state agencies agree are feasible should an FAD strike, according to veterinarian Patrick Webb, director of swine health programs for the Pork Checkoff. This would include the safe movement of animals from farms in an FAD control area to harvest channels or to other production sites as long as the pigs have no evidence of disease.
“The Secure Pork Supply plan will provide business continuity to producers who enroll prior to an outbreak, which will allow them to be back in business faster than those who do not participate,” Webb said.
Basics of the plan that will help producer achieve this include implementing sound biosecurity, using premises identification tags, keeping detailed production records and maintaining all necessary health papers and certificates.
“As a pork producer, I want to be ready when it’s time to sign up as a participant in the Secure Pork Supply program,” O’Neel said. “In the meantime, let’s all prepare by ramping up our farms biosecurity measures and other steps so we’ll be ready to go.”