The fear is real. African swine fever continues to spread throughout the world. The virus is deadly for hogs and pigs, and it could reach the United States. Are swine producers in Iowa and other states prepared?
The Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University, in collaboration with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, will hold six workshops in December to address preparations for an outbreak of a foreign animal disease. The outbreak of a foreign animal disease, especially ASF, would be a huge challenge for Iowa pork producers, as Iowa is the leading hog production state.
University livestock specialists and veterinarians recommend producers plan ahead to be ready for a possible outbreak. Such planning and preparedness may reduce some of the stress and assist swine operations in preparing appropriate actions.
At these workshops, the IPIC team will explain what the state and federal response might include in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the U.S., and how hog producers can individually prepare for such an outbreak on their farm. “If individual producers are more prepared, the industry as a whole is more prepared,” says IPIC Extension swine program specialist Amanda Chipman.
Prepare for possible outbreak
“We want to help producers prioritize actions, steps, and set goals to accomplish on their farm today,” she says. “These workshops will build on experiences we learned from previous workshops and insights we gained while observing the African swine fever functional exercises with USDA in September 2019.”
Following each workshop, attendees can expect to have a better understanding of foreign animal disease preparedness. They will also leave with practical strategies that can be used immediately to improve the protection of their herd from endemic diseases already present in the U.S. swine herd. Producers are invited to attend, regardless of whether or not they attended one of the first series of workshops held earlier this year.
These sessions cover what to expect during a foreign animal disease outbreak and the response, mass depopulation and disposal options. Also, how to write your personalized, enhanced biosecurity plan; how to keep the required movement records; and how to monitor for clinical signs consistent with an FAD outbreak.
Individual or small group assistance sessions with enhancing biosecurity and developing a Secure Pork Supply plan for your operation also are available and can be scheduled upon request.
Plan to attend a workshop
Workshops are scheduled for the following dates and locations. Each will be held from 1 to 4 p.m., with an optional help session from 4 to 5 p.m. All sessions are available at no charge, thanks to IPPA support:
- Dec. 2, Public Library, Dike
- Dec. 3, Sioux County Extension office, Orange City
- Dec. 4, Mahaska County Extension office, Oskaloosa
- Dec. 9, Hansen Ag Student Learning Center, Ames
- Dec. 10, Audubon Recreation Center, Audubon
- Dec. 11, Cedar County Extension office, Tipton
Use the online form to register for the desired workshop location. For more information about the workshops and to sign up for updates on future workshops, see the IPIC website. For additional questions or to schedule a workshop, or individual or group plan assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact an ISU Extension swine specialist.