SHIC Releases 2023 Progress Report and 2024 Plan of Work

Efforts built around priorities designed to protect US swine herd health

While the 2023 Progress Report provides pork producers, swine veterinarians, and industry stakeholders a review of the Swine Health Information Center’s activities and accomplishments to carry out its mission over the past year, the 2024 Plan of Work outlines projects to address its five strategic priorities in the new year. Those priorities include 1) improving swine health information, 2) monitoring and mitigating risks to swine health, 3) responding to emerging disease, 4) surveillance and discovery of emerging disease, and 5) swine disease matrices.

SHIC’s Progress Report is divided into sections detailing the year’s progress in each of the priority areas. All activities include constant communication and coordination with the National Pork Board, the National Pork Producers Council, and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians to serve the US pork industry. A detailed description of the completed USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service-funded ASF research program conducted in Vietnam is also included.

While guided by the 2023 Plan of Work, SHIC also strives for nimbleness to urgently address new industry needs as they are identified. SHIC, along with the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, an organization advancing actionable science to develop tools, technologies, and information for farmers, consumers and the environment, and Pork Checkoff, funded the two-year $2.3M Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Research Program. The program funded 16 research projects in 2023 and will continue to fund projects into 2024. By leveraging budget allocation with the matching funds from FFAR and the Checkoff, SHIC increased capacity and output for its mission to safeguard the health of the US swine herd.

The SHIC Board of Directors reallocated funds from the 2023 budget projection for collaborative Japanese encephalitis virus research to strengthen US pork industry preparedness for this virus that caused a wide-spread swine disease outbreak in Australia in 2022. The board also designated funds to research the use of tongue tip fluids from pig mortalities to monitor disease circulation in US pig herds, a new need identified in 2023 by a SHIC working group.

Developed through stakeholder feedback and approved by the SHIC Board of Directors, the 2024 Plan of Work will be implemented by Executive Director Dr. Megan Niederwerder and Associate Director Dr. Lisa Becton with input from the board and SHIC Working Groups.

Proposals addressing the 2024 Plan of Work detailed priorities are accepted on a rolling basis for review and funding recommendation. SHIC’s activities are guided by the Plan of Work while remaining nimble and responsive to industry needs. Stakeholder input and ideas are welcomed year-round to inform newly identified needs which may necessitate adapting the Plan of Work to fulfill SHIC’s mission. Input may include topic areas, research priorities, and identified industry needs in which SHIC should focus efforts, such as an emerging swine disease or an emerging swine health issue.

SHIC began operation as a 501(c)(3) corporation on July 4, 2015. The mission of SHIC is to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd by minimizing the impact of emerging disease threats through preparedness, coordinated communications, global disease monitoring, analysis of swine health data, and targeted research investments. When SHIC was formed in 2015 by a grant of Checkoff funds from the National Pork Board, it was with the understanding that it was a five-year project. During 2021, the National Pork Board’s Board of Directors voted to provide $15M to continue to fund SHIC’s work through 2027.

The Swine Health Information Center, launched in 2015 with Pork Checkoff funding, protects and enhances the health of the US swine herd by minimizing the impact of emerging disease threats through preparedness, coordinated communications, global disease monitoring, analysis of swine health data, and targeted research investments. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research. Forward, reprint, and quote SHIC material freely. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Megan Niederwerder at or Dr. Lisa Becton at .

2024 Plan of Work Highlights

Improve Swine Health Information

  • Domestic disease monitoring through veterinary diagnostic laboratory data collation via the Swine Disease Reporting System
  • Domestic disease monitoring through voluntary reporting to the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project provides a foundation for industry capacity to report system level disease, respond rapidly, and maintain business continuity
  • Japanese encephalitis virus information sharing website for US stakeholders will be monitored and updated as needed to ensure the latest information remains available
  • A strategic summary of SHIC swine health and disease work-to-date will be explored as a  resource to organize information for stakeholders
  • Webinars to inform veterinarians and producers about emerging swine health issues will be offered
  • Maintaining up-to-date swine disease fact sheets
  • Ensure timely and valuable communications across all stakeholder audiences

Monitor and Mitigate Risks to Swine Health

  • Customs and Border Protection and identifying high-risk product importation and traveler entry at borders
  • Global disease monitoring to identify and inform international swine disease risks
  • Foster information sharing with government and allied industry through international animal health organizations
  • Adoption and measuring implementation of wean-to-harvest biosecurity research outcomes
  • Enhancing biosecurity of mortality management practices to reduce disease transmission back to farm ‡
  • Transportation biosecurity of live pig and market haul ‡
  • Novel air filtration technologies for cost-effective bioexclusion on grow/finish sites ‡
  • Packing plant biocontainment for reducing pathogen spread back to the farm ‡
  • Cull sow and secondary market biosecurity and disease surveillance
  • Engineering biosecurity controls through site construction design or strategic renovation
  • Defining spillover risks of emerging diseases from wean-to-market pigs to sow herds

Respond to Emerging Disease

  • Emergency disease preparedness and response planning in coordination with state, federal and industry stakeholders
  • Validating feed mill decontamination protocols to reduce feed transmission risk
  • Investigating production and swine health impacts of porcine astrovirus, kobuvirus and sapovirus as emerging pathogens
  • Improving diagnostic tools, understanding of pathogenesis, and interpretation of test results for porcine circovirus types 2, 3 and 4
  • Utilizing the web-based Standardized Outbreak Investigation Program to identify high risk events for pathogen entry
  • Identification of early disease outbreak warning signals from industry data
  • Rapid deployment of research funds for a newly emerging disease
  • Diagnostic assay development for confirming efficacy of cleaning and disinfection protocols

Surveillance and Discovery of Emerging Disease

  • Population based sample types (oral fluids, processing fluids) for emerging disease testing
  • Pan-diagnostic assay development for co-infections or identifying unknown emerging diseases
  • Environmental sample types for emerging disease surveillance and efficacy of cleaning and disinfection protocols
  • Whole genome sequencing as a forensic diagnostic tool and epidemiological resource
  • Expanding use of diagnostic fee support to assist in early detection of emerging disease
  • Increasing utility of VDL submissions as an effective surveillance stream for detection of emerging disease
  • Investigation of the clinical relevance and epidemiology of newly identified agents in VDL submissions associated with swine disease

Swine Disease Matrices

  • Updating bacterial and viral swine disease matrices to prioritize swine pathogens
  • Using the swine bacterial and viral disease matrices as guidelines for research to enhance swine disease diagnostic capabilities

‡FFAR/SHIC/NPB Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Research Program priorities.