In November, 2014, the National Pork Board's board of directors approved funding of a national Swine Health Information Center. The new venture will focus its efforts on implementing industry preparedness for disease challenges that could affect U.S. swine herds.
According to Dr. Paul Sundberg, vice president of science and technology at NPB, a $15 million investment by the Pork Checkoff would fund the center for five years. The center would be governed by a board consisting of representatives from the NPB, the National Pork Producer Council, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and at-large producers.
"It's our intention to establish a center that can improve preparedness for swine diseases with the combined resources of swine veterinarians, producers, researchers, diagnosticians and state and federal animal health officials," Sunberg said last year. "We have learned a lot over the past year and a half from our experience with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and we want to create a unique, collaborative system that will help us achieve our overall goal of preparing for the next emerging swine disease."
More information on the new center is set to be announced at the annual National Pork Industry Forum set for March in San Antonio, Texas. PEDV, however is not waiting. Rumblings that it has made its return appearance are already circulating.
Which strain is the newest question, because there are now three strains making rounds. From a hog farmer's point of view, I don't think it matters which one you get. No strains have a vaccine and all three have similar symptoms and outcome.
While the hope is this new research facility can one day better prepare farms for devastating hog diseases, producers will be keeping biosecurity tight – almost everything has the possibility to be a carrier.