The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services is encouraging swine producers and packers to enroll in the US Swine Health Improvement (US SHIP) program.
US SHIP is modeled after the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) that began in 1935. The goal of US SHIP is to provide a national program for certifying swine health status focused on African Swine Fever (ASF) and Classical Swine Fever (CSF).
The program aims to establish a platform for safeguarding, improving, and representing the health status of swine across participating farm sites, supply chains, states, and regions. A working system is needed to support the current and future health assurance needs of the 21st century US pork industry.
The initial and principal objectives are to develop and implement an ASF-CSF Monitored Certification of US pork production operations (farm sites and slaughter facilities) that are modeled after the NPIP’s H5/H7 Avian Influenza Monitored certification of US Commercial Poultry operations.
The certification aims to minimize the risks of disease introduction and provide a practical means for demonstrating evidence of freedom of disease (outside of foreign animal disease control areas) in support of ongoing interstate commerce and a pathway towards the resumption of international trade over the course of a trade impacting disease response and recovery period.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has committed to participating in US SHIP and is encouraging swine producers to enroll their production and packing sites in the program.
Industry and Department of Agriculture representatives from the Commonwealth attended the inaugural US SHIP House of Delegates conference last August and approved the initial requirements for certification in the program.
Benefits of the US SHIP enrollment include:
- A strengthened ASF/CSF preparedness (prevention, response and recovery) for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- An established uniform biosecurity, traceability, sampling/testing approach across participating states in “peacetime” as well as “wartime”
- Participation in a collaborative industry (producers/packers), state, and federal program in which producers can establish appropriate standards for health certification.
For more information, including enrollment information, visit www.usswinehealthimprovementplan.com.