The National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board are urging all pork producers to take steps to prevent their pigs from contracting swine influenza. A number of people in California and Texas and in Mexico in the past few days have been identified as having swine flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working on the issue and has noted that the flu strain is one not previously seen in people or pigs.

CDC has said that the current flu cases have been transmitted from person to person, that the swine flu strain is not from the U.S. swine herd and that U.S. pork is safe to eat.

NPPC and NPB are recommending that pork producers work with their herd veterinarian to reduce transmission of influenza viruses by:

  • Giving influenza virus vaccinations to pigs.
  • Giving seasonal influenza virus vaccinations to swine farm workers.
  • Establishing, implementing and enforcing strict leave policies for workers who exhibit influenza-type symptoms.
  • Implementing worker sick-leave policies that encourage employees to remain away from work when they are suffering from acute respiratory infections.
  • Maintaining appropriate ventilation in the barns.
  • Enforcing basic hygiene and biosecurity practices, including the use of personal protective gear.
  • Preventing pig-to-bird contact by making buildings bird proof and treating water if it is supplied from an open body of water where birds and migratory fowl may be found.
  • Restricting public access to barns

For more information on influenza, click here.

Source: NPPC, NPB