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Pork industry outlines traceability plan

The nation’s pork industry is another step closer to an enhanced swine traceability system. 

Scott Hays, a Missouri producer, and immediate past president of the National Pork Producers Council tells Brownfield NPPC has spent nearly two years developing a program that would expedite a response to an animal disease outbreak…

“We need to know where the disease is at and where it’s not, and the only way to know that is if we have a traceability plan.” He says, “Where we’re recording those movements as they happen, so we can pull that up in minutes, you know, not take days to put it together because time will be so critical.”

AUDIO: Scott Hays, past president at NPPC

Lori Stevermer, NPPC president and a Minnesota producer, tells Brownfield all swine owners would need a premises identification number and…

Having some type of an electronic database too.”  She says, “Whether that’s a spreadsheet or Pork Board has Agview or some other type of a program. Having that in a digital format makes it easier.”

AUDIO: Lori Stevermer, NPPC president

Twenty-five percent of pork is exported and Steve Meyer, chief livestock economist for Ever.Ag, says traceability is vital especially in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak.

“The immediate result will be a closure of US exports, all of them.”  He says, “You have to have a way to try to put a fence around that thing, if possible.”

AUDIO: Steve Meyer, chief livestock economist for Ever.Ag

Other recommendations include high-risk swine being required to get tagged with an Animal Identification Number RFID tag, as well as cull markets and packing plants would use tattoo numbers unique to each facility.

The plan now goes to the USDA.  That process is expected to take two to three years before potential inclusion in regulations.

NPPC delegates approved the plan at the recent National Pork Forum in Chicago.

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