Although the two cases of pseudorabies in Wisconsin have been cleaned up, a growing population of feral hogs in the United States illustrates the importance for all U.S. pork producers to practice thorough biosecurity measures. It also supports the importance of and the need for premises identification.

“There are many simple ways to protect your herd’s health,” says Patrick Webb, National Pork Board’s director of swine health programs.  He offers the following suggestions:

  • Conduct a biosecurity audit. Work with your veterinarian to assess your current practices and pinpoint biosecurity issues that need to be addressed.
  • Post proper signage. Identify disease-control areas so visitors know which areas are off-limits. Designate a visitor area, as well as specific areas for visitor parking. “Make sure these areas are away from swine housing and manure containment,” Webb says.
  • Use a visitor log book. Have visitors sign the log and include their name, full contact information, arrival and departure times, and purpose of the visit. Make sure regular service providers, including veterinarians and feed-truck drivers, sign the log. “This information is critical if there’s a swine disease outbreak and traceback is required,” Webb says.
  • Limit equipment sharing to limit disease spread. This includes trailers, skid loaders and manure-spreading equipment.
  • Require employees and visitors to wear clean coveralls and boots. Supply coveralls and boots in small, medium and large sizes. Also make sure employees and visitors wear clean coveralls and boots each time they move from one premises to the next.
  • Require appropriate downtime for all visitors that have had previous swine contact. Work with your veterinarian to establish appropriate downtime.
  • Establish a plan for new animal introductions, including quarantine protocols. Again, work with your veterinarian on a plan.
  • Follow appropriate biosecurity protocols after visiting animal-concentration points, sale barns or buying stations. At least change boots and coveralls, and wash your hands and arms thoroughly prior to working with your own pigs.
  • Maintain animal-movement records. List the buyer’s and seller’s contact information. Also list the number and date that the pigs moved onto the farm, where they came from (include the premises identification number, if available). The same applies for swine leaving the farm — record the number, date and the destination, including the premises identification number.

For more details, go to NPB’s Web site at www.pork.org. You also can call (800) 456-PORK and ask for a copy of the “Security/Biosecurity Guide for Pork Producers.”