A new tool developed on behalf of the Swine Health Information Center to standardise and streamline the investigation of swine disease outbreaks is expected to help identify vulnerabilities in biosecurity across the industry.
A team of academics and veterinarians led by Iowa State University, with funding from the Swine Health Information Center, has developed a standardised outbreak investigation instrument through which swine producers and veterinarians can compile the information needed to investigate an outbreak.
SHIC Associate Director Dr. Megan Niederwerder says the tool consists of a form that swine producers and veterinarians can use a guide to gather and compile the information that will be needed to conduct a comprehensive outbreak investigation.
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As more and more people begin using this form and the data is submitted to a database, and that will be a confidential database so there will be no identifiers with regards to the specific herd.
As that data comes in in a confidential way and the industry is able to generate a database of how diseases are introduced, what are the hazards, what are risks, we hope to start to identify some common vulnerabilities across the industry.
When we think about it we really need to generate the data that's standardised so that we can make accurate conclusions as opposed to just hypothesising that certain areas of the industry are higher risk.
This will allow us to collect data in a standardised way, in a systematic way and then report those general consensus risks back to the industry.