NPPC's Dr. Liz Wagstrom Helping Lead Efforts to Keep African Swine Fever Out of the US Hog HerdMon, 25 Nov 2019 05:41:32 CST
Dr. Liz Wagstrom is one of the most knowledgeable people in the United States when it comes to African Swine Fever. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with Wagstrom to talk about the worry producers are feeling. "We're really concerned. It's our top priority, and we have done a lot of things to try and protect the United States from this Virus. Working closely with customs and border protection, and we were really thrilled last week, we had a senate bill pass by unanimous consent, and it would authorize 600 new inspectors at Customs, as well as 60 new K9 teams."
Wagstrom continues to say that they have a companion bill working through the house, and she expects it to pass without any controversy, and if that goes off without a hitch, that will get us one step closer to being fully staffed at Customs. They are also working on the protection for those producers who may have to go into foreign countries, and the care they can take coming back into the U.S. Wagstrom also says itís important that if the disease were to get in the country, they could identify it quickly, "Working with USDA to make sure all the laboratories are capable of doing ASF (African Swine Fever) testing, and that we have the right samples that can be easily collected"
We've recently had several state coordinated exercises. The State of Oklahoma participated, and Wagstrom says Oklahoman did well, "Oklahoma did play. It's in the top 14 hog states. What was really good is they had 20 production sites, where they actually sent state veterinarians out, collected samples at those sites, then came back and worked on what depopulation plan and a disposal plan would look like. I think what we learned is that we are better prepared than we would have been a year ago. We still have things we need to work on. One is that consistency between states, so if there's s stop movement, what does that mean in-between states? If animal movements need to be permitted, what are the requirements to get a permit to move, so we need that consistency."
Wagstrom says they have also asked the USDA to hold a similar exercises with pork packers so that they could also understand how they could receive pigs, and from where they could receive pigs and how they could be part of that response strategy.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the complete interview with Dr. Liz Wagstrom as she talks with Ron Hays.
WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI
Top Agricultural News