The National Pork Producers Council is telling pork producers to be on alert for any unusual symptoms in their herds, following the theft of a laboratory bacterium.

USDA and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced that they were notified late last week that research materials, including samples of a bacteria used to develop swine vaccines, were taken from a Michigan State University laboratory. The stolen material is Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, or APP, which is a common bacteria in swine that usually causes respiratory infection.

APHIS is urging pork producers and veterinarians to pay special attention to swine populations and to be on the look out for any unusual clinical symptoms in hogs. Antibiotics can be used to treat APP.

According to Michigan State offiicals, there is no threat to human health or food safety. University officials are working with the FBI and local authorities on a thorough investigation.

“This will serve as a good test of the strong biosecurity measures that pork producers currently have in place,” says Dave Roper, NPPC president. He applauded USDA's swift response.

Roper and NPPC are urging pork producers to do the following:

  • Contact your veterinarian about any unusual health situation on your farm.
  • Review biosecurity and security plans within your farms. For more
    information on these measures, go to to view the "Biosecurity and Security Guides."
  • Report any suspicious activity or people seen around your farms to local law-enforcement officials.

Any producers who may have questions, should contact USDA/APHIS,
Veterinary Services, Emergency Programs staff at (301) 734-8073, or via

National Pork Producers Council