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Foreign animal disease preparedness meetings scheduled in South Dakota

BROOKINGS, S.D. -- South Dakota State University Extension, the South Dakota Pork Producers Council and South Dakota Animal Industry Board will host Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness Meetings to help South Dakota livestock producers understand ...

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Erin Brown / Grand Vale Creative

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University Extension, the South Dakota Pork Producers Council and South Dakota Animal Industry Board will host Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness Meetings to help South Dakota livestock producers understand the consequences of and best prepare for foreign animal diseases entering the country.

The meetings are scheduled for 1 p.m. April 10 in Huron at Nordby Hall on the South Dakota State Fair Grounds and 8:30 a.m. April 11 at Homewood Suites in Sioux Falls.

“While many livestock producers in the U.S. may feel safe from the threat of foreign animal diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease and African Swine Fever due to the buffers of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, in 2013 we learned the hard way from outbreaks of Porcine Endemic Diarrhea that diseases can and do travel across the world, and the results can be catastrophic,” explained Bob Thaler, professor and Extension swine specialist.

Outbreaks of African Swine Fever are ongoing in China, Vietnam, and parts of the European Union. Thaler said trade between those countries and the U.S. increases the threat to U.S. pork.

“With approximately 27 percent of U.S. pork production exported, an occurrence of a foreign animal disease in the U.S. would be devastating to our swine producers, as well as to the other livestock industries and our corn and soybean producers,” Thaler said. “However, producers who have completed the Secure Pork Supply Plan and have no evidence of the disease in their herd should be given preference when swine movement is reestablished, which will be a great benefit to them.”

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Secure Pork Plan is one of many focuses of the one-day workshop. Thaler added that although workshop topics focus on pork, they are relevant to all livestock producers.

“In the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak, everyone will be affected,” Thaler said.

For more information, contact Bob Thaler at Robert.thaler@sdstate.edu or 605-688-5435, or Glenn Muller, executive director for South Dakota Pork Producers, at gmuller@sdppc.org or 605-332-1600.

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