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SHOW PIG INDUSTRY GATHERS TO DISCUSS ASF PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS

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The U.S. pork industry has a plan to help keep foreign animal diseases like African swine fever (ASF) out of the country, but it requires everyone in the pork industry to do their part.

“We must be proactive,” Matt Claeys, CEO of the National Swine Registry, said before a large crowd of youth swine exhibitors and purebred swine breeders at the National Junior Summer Spectacular in Louisville, Ky., last week. “Do your part. Get engaged with your state pork association. Be responsible and utilize the programs the National Pork Board has created to help protect the U.S. swine industry.”

John Heins, strategic account manager for the National Pork Board said it’s important to consider what the show pig industry can do collectively to safeguard an industry they love. 

“Every time you sell a pig, 35 cents out of that $100 value of that animal comes to the Pork Checkoff. We distribute that money on your behalf towards prevention, education and research in the swine industry,” Heins explained. “We provide resources to producers that allow them to be sustainable – from a business continuity standpoint. We want to help you remain profitable.”

 In a study led by Dermot Hayes, an economist with Iowa State University, analysis shows an ASF outbreak would result in a $79.5 billion impact on the pork and beef industries and directly impact 60,000 industry workers with job loss. Pork prices would drop between 50% and 60% and would stay low for three years before recovering. Read the full study here. 

Heins challenged attendees to do their part by completing two critical calls-to-action. 

AgView, a Checkoff-funded , opt-in technology solution helps producers with operations  of all sizes and types provide disease status updates and pig movement data to state animal health officials. Heins said that it ties all pig movements to a farm’s premises ID, allows the producer or show pig exhibitor to gather data prior to any disease incidents, holds data securely, and releases data only when the exhibitor or producer chooses to do so. Plus, Heins said it’s easy to use. 

“It’s important for us as an industry to think about what we can do to provide that asset protection for a segment that we all love and ensure that we want to continue to be a part of it,” Heins said. 

He demonstrated to attendees how to log into the AgView website, create an account and enter premise IDs. He encouraged them to start tracking pig movements immediately. He added that although this isn’t hard to do, future iterations will make tracking movements even easier.  

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