The council will include representatives from six US bodies including the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council, the North American Meat Institute, the US Department of Agriculture, the Swine Health Information Center and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
Those representing the council will be responsible for responding to diseases that could threaten the US pork industry's exports and producers. They will provide recommendations with state and federal health officials to respond to emerging swine-related diseases and the best actions to take.
Swine Health Information Center’s executive director Paul Sundberg said foreign animal diseases were the biggest threat to the US pork industry.
“As an industry, we have decades of response experience and are well prepared for any number of swine-specific diseases. However, a new or emerging disease can threaten animal health and welfare, as well as public health,” said Sundberg.
“While it is virtually impossible to prevent every disease from entering the US, the formation of this council will allow us to respond even more quickly, thereby mitigating risk to herd health through fast action and response.”
Meanwhile, Pork Checkoff’s senior vice president of science and technology Dave Pyburn said the initiative aimed to increase producer awareness and education of foreign animal diseases.
“The National Pork Board is well positioned to respond, having invested producer dollars over the past 30 years to establish research priorities and response protocols,” said Pyburn. “We have outstanding programs in place and pig farmers are committed to on-farm biosecurity procedures.”
Industry representatives of the National Swine Disease Council hoped to improve disease detection and eradication within the US pork industry and said they would only “rest” when the nation’s pork supply was secure.