Program helps pork producers secure their biosecurity plans

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MU Extension specialists around the urban East and Southeast of Missouri for University of Missouri Agricultural school MU extension program in June of 2019.

The Rapid Access Biosecurity app can help in the event of a transboundary or foreign animal disease outbreak in the U.S., said Corinne Bromfield, University of Missouri swine extension veterinarian.

The web-based RAB app helps pork farmers get their Secure Pork Supply Plans in a format regulatory officials can access quickly when needed and approve plans and provide permits when requested, Bromfield said.

“The RAB app securely and electronically stores farm information for quick access,” she said. “Speed is key in a foreign animal disease response.”

Bromfield said most larger companies have already included their information in this program, so they are now focusing on independent farms in Missouri to join.

“We don’t want independent producers to miss out on the same opportunities as the big companies have here,” Bromfield said.

The faster it is known where potentially affected farms are, the better regulatory officials can respond, she said.

“Knowing which farms are unlikely to be affected is just as important as knowing the potentially affected ones,” she said. “Because if we don’t have any understanding of the farm, it will get categorized as risky until proven otherwise.”

Secure Pork Supply Plans(opens in new window), through the National Pork Board and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, is a business continuity plan in the face of a transboundary or foreign animal disease in the United States. It includes evaluation of biosecurity on farms before a disease event to help ensure that pigs will stay safe and healthy.

Infected farms will be quarantined to help control the spread of disease. There will be a control and surveillance zone surrounding the infected farms where other farms may also be quarantined.

Farms in the control and surveillance zone that have a Secure Pork Supply Plan in place have the best chance of keeping the disease off their farm and being able to apply for permitted movement.

“When high pathogenic avian influenza was detected at Missouri poultry farms, those farms were quarantined, and many were depopulated. Farms nearby needed to take additional precautions to keep their birds safe and healthy,” said Bromfield.

Secure Pork Supply Plans would help the farms around the infected premises keep the disease off their property and minimize the need for depopulation.

Getting started with the RAB app:

Contact the Missouri Department of Agriculture to register your farm with a premise ID. Call 573-751-3377, email animal.health@mda.mo.gov(opens in new window) or go to agriculture.mo.gov/biosecurity(opens in new window).

Then contact Bromfield or one of the other MU Extension specialists listed below for assistance with the RAB app and the Secure Pork Supply Plan (www.securepork.org(opens in new window)).