SHIC 2020 Plan of Work Emphasizes Actionable Steps to Protect US Herd

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) 2020 Plan of Work and budget were approved by the Board of Directors on January 30, 2020. “We continue to focus on protecting the health of the US swine industry which is extremely important,” remarked Daryl Olsen, DVM, chair of the SHIC Board of Directors. “We’re going to build on the success we’ve had over the last several years. We look at the risks out there and know both need and opportunity are huge.” SHIC’s 2020 Plan of Work directs the investment made by US pork producers, through the National Pork Board’s initial financial support of the organization in 2015, to protect and enhance the health of the US herd. The SHIC Board of Directors considers this investment while setting priorities for the coming year as part of its ongoing stewardship.

Olsen says SHIC’s objectives are captured in the organization’s mission statement: the mission of the Swine Health Information Center is to protect and enhance the health of the United States swine herd through coordinated global disease monitoring, targeted research investments that minimize the impact of future disease threats, and analysis of swine health data. Olsen also notes SHIC, working with the National Pork Producers Council, was awarded a USDA grant to study African swine fever (ASF) in Vietnam. The realization SHIC was awarded the responsibility of leading this major project is confirmation the organization is doing the right thing for US pork producers in Olsen’s opinion.

The 2020 Plan of Work will direct SHIC’s activities in pursuit of those priorities, building on 2019 accomplishments. SHIC remains nimble and responsive moving forward with an emphasis on prevention and preparedness to address emerging domestic or foreign animal disease challenges as it works in concert with the other industry organizations to fill research and information gaps.

A coordinated disease reporting system will help ensure that an emerging disease will not go undetected. SHIC will continue its Global and Domestic Swine Disease Monitoring Report projects and will respond to feedback asking for them to be enhanced. Additional programs and projects to continue to offer cutting edge information about diseases around the world, including in the US, are planned to be rolled out. And quick detection is key to quick response. Continued support for further diagnostics in difficult cases, characterization of the pathogenicity of emerging, novel pathogens, and the ability to rapidly respond with the Rapid Response Corps is also in the Plan of Work. Farm biosecurity, especially at the truck-farm interface that results from multiple marketings, is also a priority for SHIC in 2020.

SHIC’s officers were re-elected during the Board of Directors meeting as well. Daryl Olsen, DVM, will continue as Board chair. Howard Hill, DVM, remains vice chair and Mark Greenwood will serve as SHIC’s secretary/treasurer again in 2020. The Board, along with the experts in SHIC’s two Working Groups, provide direction and essential input for the organization’s continued success.

Funded by America’s pork producers to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd, SHIC focuses its efforts on prevention, preparedness, and response. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research for the benefit of swine health. Forward, reprint, and quote SHIC material freely. For more information, visit http://www.swinehealth.org or contact Dr. Paul Sundberg at psundberg@swinehealth.org.