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SHIC begins round 2 of Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Program

National Pork Board Truck Wash .jpg
Five targeted areas include mortality management, alternatives to fixed truck wash and packing plant biocontainment.

The Swine Health Information Center seeks a second round of research proposals to investigate cost-effective and innovative technologies, protocols or ideas to enhance biosecurity during the wean-to-harvest phase of pig production, due April 28. Funding for the selected proposals will be provided by SHIC, the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research and Pork Checkoff as part of SHIC's Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Program to be implemented over 2023-2024. The first round of proposal solicitation, selection and funding was completed in February.

The updated research priorities in the second round of solicitation continue to focus on site and transportation biosecurity. They cover five targeted areas: 1) personnel biocontainment and bioexclusion, 2) mortality management, 3) truck wash efficiency, 4) alternatives to fixed truck wash and 5) packing plant biocontainment. SHIC is seeking novel tools in any of the five areas to help result in comprehensive biosecurity enhancement.

Proposals are expected to define current practices and investigate innovative and novel protocols or technologies that may have a cost, efficiency or implementation advantage. Herd health status monitoring, instead of disease outbreak incidence, can be used to demonstrate success of the protocols or technologies and aid in a required economic analysis of cost-effectiveness.

Collaborative projects that include pork industry, allied industry and/or academic public/private partnerships, demonstrate the most urgency and timeliness of completion, and show efficient use of funds, will be prioritized for funding. Approximately $1.3 million is available for the research; proposals are capped at $200,000.

The proposal template and instructions for completion and submission can be found at on the SHIC website. Deadline for proposal submission is 5 pm CDT, April 28. Questions can be directed to Paul Sundberg via email or (515) 451-6652 or Megan Niederwerder via email or (785) 452-8270.

SHIC, FFAR, a non-profit organization established in the 2014 Farm Bill to build public-private partnerships that fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges, and Pork Checkoff anticipate release of all research project results as they are made available.

The Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Program aligns with SHIC's mission to analyze swine health data and support targeted research to benefit the U.S. pork industry. SHIC-funded Swine Disease Monitoring Reports' aggregate data show breeding herd breaks of porcine reproductive and respiratory disease and porcine epidemic diarrhea tend to follow breaks in wean-to-harvest sites. A SHIC-funded project detailed how PRRS and PED negative pigs placed on wean-to-harvest sites become infected after placement. SHIC's Rapid Response Program investigation of the Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae outbreak in the Midwest exposed deficiencies of wean-to-harvest biosecurity that contributed to disease spread. Proactively enhancing wean-to-harvest biosecurity will help control the next emerging disease in the U.S. pork industry and improve U.S. swine herd health.

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