Following the annual meeting of the US Animal Health Association (USAHA) last month, resolutions will be sent to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Veterinary Services (APHIS-VS) to convey the importance of pork industry issues from the organization’s membership. The US swine industry was well represented on USAHA committees affecting pork production and offering the resolutions, including Transmissible Diseases of Swine, Animal Emergency Management, Animal Welfare, One Health, and National Animal Health Laboratory Network. African swine fever (ASF) was the main topic addressed by several committees with swine industry experts sharing information and was the focus of the keynote address given by Dr. Juan Lubroth, chief veterinary officer for the United Nations Food and Animal Organization. The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) contributed by providing background and support of the science behind proposed resolutions. The approved resolutions are intended to protect the health of the US swine herd.
RESOLUTION: Adequate Funding for National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank
USAHA urges USDA and State Animal Health Authorities to support a total of $92 million for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB), with a minimum of $20 million for each of the first four years and $12 million in the fifth year, of the funding established in the 2018 Farm Bill to provide adequate number of doses of foot-and-mouth disease vaccine and surge capacity. This $92 million for NAVVCB is to include a reasonable stockpile of foreign animal disease testing kits/reagents needed for outbreak response.
Additionally, the 2018 Farm Bill prevention funding the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP) should not be used to fund current USDA APHIS activities with the states nor should it inhibit full appropriation of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratory authorization within USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative and APHIS budgets.
RESOLUTION: African Swine Fever/Classical Swine Fever Surveillance Program and Tissues for Official ASF Testing in National Animal Health Laboratory Network Laboratories
USAHA urges USDA APHIS to validate and approve the items listed below. Collectively, these efforts aim to enhance the cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and breadth of coverage provided by the ASF/Classical Swine Fever (CSF) Surveillance Program.
The USDA APHIS ASF/CSF Surveillance Program at USDA NAHLN laboratories shall:
- Validate methods and implement a provision for using pooled samples for ASF/CSF polymerase chain reaction testing from case-compatible diagnostic case submissions, and
- Revise the premises identification number requirement so as not to exclude cases from the ASF/CSF Surveillance Program, provided traceability of the sample is assured.
Foreign animal disease (FAD) diagnostic capabilities and capacities at USDA NAHLN laboratories shall:
- Continue to expand the number of ante-mortem sample types (e.g., oral fluids, processing fluids, swabs, serum) approved for FAD diagnostic testing that are well suited for herd level detection and high-throughput test methods at veterinary diagnostic laboratories, and
- Expand the number of assays, testing methodologies (nucleic acid and antibody detection, and sequencing analysis) and reagent supplier options approved for FAD diagnostic testing conducted at USDA APHIS NAHLN laboratories.
RESOLUTION: Valid Sampling Methods and Protocols for Feed and Feed Inputs
USAHA urges the Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine and USDA APHIS-VS to work with the US pork industry to develop valid sampling methods and protocols to detect pathogens in foreign feed and feed inputs that can be applied at the point of embarkation to the US or upon arrival at the port of entry.
RESOLUTION: Efficient Diagnostic Sample Validation and Approval for Foreign Animal Diseases of Swine
USAHA urges the USDA APHIS-VS to work with US pork industry to validate and approve swine oral fluids, swine processing fluids, and meat juice for detection of antigen and antibody for CSF, ASF, and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
RESOLUTION: Foreign Animal Disease Prevention
USAHA urges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to 1) on a quarterly basis, provide interdiction metrics to pork industry representatives, 2) work with the FMD Cross-Species Team to develop education designed to increase awareness for passengers that are in transit from foreign ports into the US on the importance of protecting agriculture and being truthful on the US Customs Declaration form, 3) work with the FMD Cross-Species Team to develop biosecurity education for travelers diverted for secondary screening after declaring they have been on a farm or in contact with animals in a foreign animal disease positive nation, and 4) modify the US Customs Declaration form to include language regarding a traveler’s proximity to packing and processing plants, live and/or wet markets, research facilities, laboratories, or any other location where there is a likelihood that cross-contamination could occur directly or indirectly between the traveler and animals, fresh animal products, or animal excretions.
RESOLUTION: Evaluating and Recognizing Compartments
USAHA urges USDA APHIS-VS to host a meeting with the US pork industry and State Animal Health Officials to discuss the proposed criteria that will be used to evaluate and recognize livestock/livestock products compartments domestically and internationally.
RESOLUTION: Stop Movement – Criteria for Implementing and Releasing
USAHA urges USDA APHIS-VS to work with the United States pork industry and state animal health officials to develop criteria for implementing and releasing national movement standstills due to the occurrence of a trade and commerce limiting foreign animal disease of swine.