Wean-to-harvest biosecurity has been developing as a complex problem for many years. The program will look for cost-effective, innovative solutions to a significant biosecurity gap in US swine production.

1. Why is SHIC involved in wean-to-harvest biosecurity?

     a. SHIC is focused on preventing and responding to emerging diseases.

     b. Leading the industry in being proactive to controlling the next emerging disease instead of reacting after it gets here fulfills SHIC’s mission of protecting and enhancing US swine herd health.

     c. When PED broke in 2013, the US pork industry wasn’t prepared to stop the spread and contain it. Focusing on wean-to-harvest biosecurity will help to discover and offer cost-effective solutions to wean to market health and prevent disease spread.

     d. Enhancing wean-to-harvest biosecurity will help prevent or prepare for the next emerging disease or the introduction of a foreign animal disease like ASF into the US.

2. Why do this?

     a. Growing evidence about the risk of wean-to-harvest disease outbreaks affecting breeding herds exposes a gap.

     b. SHIC-funded Swine Disease Monitoring Report aggregate data shows breeding herd breaks of PRRS and PED tend to follow breaks in wean-to-harvest sites.

     c. A recently published paper on a SHIC-funded project detailed how PRRS and PED negative pigs placed on wean-to-finish sites become infected after placement.

     d. SHIC Rapid Response Team’s investigations of an APP outbreak in the Midwest exposed deficiencies of wean-to-harvest biosecurity in the area that contributed to the disease spread.

     e. Our historical experience with the PRV eradication program discovered PRV infections in finishing sites preceded repeated infections in breeding herds.

     f. To improve national and local herd health, focus on wean-to-harvest biosecurity must improve.

3. How’s it going to get done?

     a. The intent is to ensure solutions are cost-effective and doable.

     b. Industry-wide input (pork producers, veterinarians, researchers, pork production managers) into what needs to be done will be gathered and incorporated.

     c. Research priorities will be developed in three areas – bioexclusion (keeping disease off the farm), biocontainment (after a break, keeping disease on the farm to lessen risk to neighbors), and transportation biosecurity (live haul, culls, markets, deadstock, and feed hauling along with innovative ways to stop pathogens from moving from markets and concentration points back to the farm).

     d. The SHIC Board of Directors reallocated 2022 budget and Plan of Work priorities significantly to work on wean-to-harvest biosecurity.

4. When will I see results?

     a. The work will not be simple and could take some time to complete making it urgent to start as soon as possible.

     b. Advisory task forces with pork producers, veterinarians, researchers, and production managers began their work in September 2022, then proposals will be sought, and trials and projects will start.

     c. Due to anticipated seasonal effects and differences in costs and abilities to implement biosecurity, some projects will probably have to cross seasons, taking at least a year.

     d. Significant preliminary results will be shared immediately.  

Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Site Task Force Members

Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Transport Task Force