If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times …
Every parent has uttered that phrase to children who just won’t listen, only to tell them the exact same thing a few more times. Hounding someone is not enjoyed by the one being hounded, or the one doing the hounding.
So, how much is too much?
When it comes to circumstances of safety and well-being, I don’t think there can be enough hounding. That is why we will continue to alert you and remind you of the importance of practicing the strictest biosecurity measures on your farm and beyond to do your part in keeping deadly pathogens at bay.
When porcine epidemic diarrhea virus surfaced in U.S. swine herds a few years back, that put producers on high alert to “tighten the gates” on their farms and in their barns. That heightened awareness of new and improved biosecurity proved beneficial against PEDV, as well as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and a host of other pathogens lurking.
Alarms are going off again as African swine fever is spreading across China and Eastern Europe. Attend any swine-related meeting or conference, or maybe just an informal gathering of hog producers, and ASF is a hot topic. ASF and its band of other foreign animal diseases — foot-and-mouth disease, classical swine fever — remind us all how small the world is becoming. With the global movement of people and produce, the conduits for ASF and other FADs coming to America are very real and defined.
You can instill the strictest biosecurity measures on your farm, but if your neighbor doesn’t, or if the TSA agents at the airport allow just one chorizo or prosciutto to enter the country, your best efforts can go for naught.
So, we will continue to hound you and remind you of the importance of biosecurity measures on and around your farm, and help spread the word to stage a full-frontal battle against ASF and its evil siblings. There are many places to turn for information for you to dive into, and to share with anyone you come in contact with.
One great resource that I have found, which is actually a compilation of plethora ASF resources comes from the Iowa State University Iowa Pork Industry Center. This site has resources from the ISU team, as well as from Kansas State University, National Pork Board, Swine Health Information Center, the Secure Pork Supply Plan, USDA and the World Health Organization.
Spend some time digging through all this information, and share it with your pig caregivers, and others around you. Don’t worry, if you forget, we’ll remind you.