Questions & Answers: Swine Enteric Coronavirus Diseases Monitoring and Control Program
In response to the significant impact swine enteric coronavirus diseases (SECD), including Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PEDv) and Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV), are having on the U.S. pork industry, USDA issued a Federal Order on June 5, 2014. USDA also announced $26.2 million in funding to combat these diseases. USDA, States, herd veterinarians and producers will collaborate to manage the diseases in a manner that supports business continuity for commercial pork producers and maintains a plentiful supply of pork for consumers.
There are two basic requirements of the Federal Order. First, producers, veterinarians, and diagnostic laboratories are now required to report all cases of new SECD, including PEDv and PDCoV, to USDA or State animal health officials. Second, operations reporting these viruses must work with a veterinarian – either their herd veterinarian, or USDA or State animal health officials – to develop and implement a reasonable management plan to address the detected virus and prevent its spread.
Q. What information needs to be reported to USDA?
A. Reporting of SECD begins immediately, effective June 5, 2014. If a herd is affected with an SECD, it must be reported by producers, veterinarians and laboratory personnel to USDA or State animal health officials. The report must contain the following:
- A premises identification number (PIN or alternate);
- Date the sample was collected;
- Type of unit being sampled (sow, nursery, finisher);
- Test methods used to make the diagnosis; and
- Diagnostic test results.
Q. How quickly do I need to report an affected herd?
A. An affected herd must be reported as soon as you know the herd is infected, whether through positive laboratory test results or other knowledge of infection.
Q. How do I report an affected herd?
A. Report affected herds through existing channels to the USDA Assistant District Director or the state animal health official. Laboratories will also submit their reports through the Laboratory Messaging System.
Q. How long will it take for full implementation of the reporting requirements?
A. Reporting of SECD by producers and herd veterinarians begins immediately, effective June 5, 2014. Electronic reporting from the diagnostic laboratories will be fully implemented by June 19, 2014.
Q. Is the data reported to USDA secure and confidential?
A. Yes. USDA will use all applicable authorities to protect information it collects.
Q. Is it subject to FOIA?
A. USDA will seek to protect producer information to the fullest extent of the law.
Herd Management Plans
Q. Is USDA requiring herd management plans?
A. Yes, herd management plans are required in SECD affected herds. Operations reporting these viruses must work with their herd veterinarian to develop and implement a reasonable management plan to address the detected virus and prevent its spread. If they do not have a herd veterinarian, a USDA or State animal health official will work with them on the plan.
Q. What does a herd management plan include?
A. The herd management plan will include elements that address diagnostic testing, biosecurity, and disease control best-practices. However, the exact details of what must be included in the herd management plans will be developed with States, veterinarians and producers over the next 4-8 weeks.
We do know that biosecurity best-practices will address items including:
- Employee and visitor biosecurity enhancement;
- Pigs coming onto a site;
- Cleaning and disinfection of facilities;
- Trucks and trucking personnel; and
- Feed components.
Q. Who approves herd management plans and makes sure they are being followed?
A. Herd veterinarians will approve and follow their herd management plans. The plan must be provided to USDA officials.
Q. What will you do if producers don’t comply with reporting and herd plans?
A. Regulatory action may be taken if producers, veterinarians or laboratories do not comply with the Federal Order requirements of reporting, having a herd management plan, and following that plan. These actions could include official warnings, sanctions, penalties, fines or specific requirements to move pigs off affected farms.
Q. Is USDA requiring specific biosecurity steps/practices at affected sites?
A. Biosecurity and cleaning and disinfecting guidelines will be a part of the herd management plan, but we will not require specific actions. We will rely on the expertise of the herd veterinarian to determine best practices for an individual farm or site.
We will work with producers and veterinarians over a period of time to determine those biosecurity and other management practices that are most effective in preventing spread of the viruses.
Q. Will affected premises be quarantined by USDA or State animal health authorities? If not, why not?
A. Affected premises will not be quarantined and will not have movement restrictions applied if they have and follow a herd management plan developed by their herd veterinarian. The herd management plan will outline necessary biosecurity practices to address disease spread.
Q. What authority is USDA using to mandate these actions?
A. APHIS has broad authority under the Animal Health Protection Act of 2002 (AHPA) to protect animal health in the United States. Reporting for SECD will be used to determine which herds are affected with the disease, and to ensure that the herd is under a herd management plan before it moves interstate.
Q. What authority does APHIS have to issue a Federal Order for SECDs?
A. Under the AHPA, APHIS has authority to issue orders to ensure that the interstate movement of animals does not contribute to the spread of diseases of livestock.
Q. What will the $26.2 million be used for?
A. The $26.2 million will be used for a variety of activities to support producers and combat these diseases, including:
- $3.9 million to be used by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to support the development of vaccines
- $2.4 million to cooperative agreement funding for States to support management and control activities
- $500,000 to herd veterinarians to help with development and monitoring of herd management plans and sample collection
- $11.1 million in cost-share funding for producers of infected herds to support biosecurity practices.
- $2.4 million to private sector veterinarians for diagnostic testing
- $1.5 million to National Animal Health Laboratory Network diagnostic laboratories for genomic sequencing for newly positive herds
Q. What costs will USDA subsidize? Is it full reimbursement or partial reimbursement? How quickly will reimbursement happen?
A. We plan to use a cost-share approach for infected farms for diagnostic testing, biosecurity activities, developing herd plans and disease control activities. This will be implemented over the coming weeks.
Q. Is USDA paying indemnity for pigs that die as a result of infection with PEDv?
A. No. None of the livestock disaster programs can provide assistance to
producers due to limitations within the statute.
- The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) only covers deaths due to adverse weather or attacks by animals.
- The Livestock Forage Program (LFP) provides assistance to producers who suffered forage losses due drought or fire.
- The Emergency Assistance Program for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm Raised Fish (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible producers due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions not covered by LFP and LIP. While technically this could be a potential pot of money to use, payments are capped at $20 million per fiscal year.
Q. What role will producers play?
A. Producers will work with their herd veterinarians to maintain the health of their animals. If PEDv or related disease is found, the producer will develop and follow the herd management plan and work with animal health officials as needed to provide disease monitoring and biosecurity evaluation information.
Q. What role will veterinarians play?
A. Veterinarians are on the front line working with the producer to maintain the health of their animals, and to address illness if it strikes. Specific herd-level biosecurity and disease control plans for affected herds are developed and managed by herd veterinarians.
Q. What role will industry play?
A. Industry will lead efforts to educate and train veterinarians, producers, haulers, and packer/processors to enhance disease preparedness, recognition, and response. Industry will also take the lead in determining best practices for disease control and biosecurity.
Q. What role will veterinary diagnostic laboratories play?
A. The National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratories will continue to play a crucial role in the testing and reporting of these diseases. The laboratories will require premises identification numbers (PIN or an alternate) for SECD samples to be tested.
Q. What role will the States play?
A. States will actively work with producers and industry in their States to manage disease, supporting biosecurity and disease control protocols. They will use Federal cooperative agreement funding to conduct program activities including herd sampling (testing), supplying disinfectants, reviewing biosecurity and disease control practices, and investigating of newly affected herds. States will also work with laboratory officials and officials in neighboring states on program activities.
Q. What role will USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) play?
A. APHIS officials will support disease monitoring; development of herd management plans; biosecurity and herd-level control procedures; and data integration.
Q. How will collection of this information and data help fight SECD?
A. Routine and standard disease reporting for SECD will help determine the magnitude of the disease in the United States and document progress in managing the disease. It will also help us to determine any additional steps we should take in conjunction with States and industry to better control the spread of these viruses.
Q. Is contaminated feed the likely source of PEDv? If so, what is being done to address this pathway?
A. An SECD such as PEDv or PDCoV has many potential pathways of introduction onto a farm or site. Feed is one possibility, along with equipment, trucks, people, infected pigs and others. Biosecurity best practices address these concerns.
Q. Why didn’t USDA take these steps when PEDv was first detected in the U.S.?
A. In the last year, we have detected several new corona viruses in the U.S. swine herd, including PEDv, which has caused significant impacts to producers. Industry has estimated PEDv has killed some 7 million piglets and caused tremendous hardship for many American pork producers. The number of market-ready hogs this summer could fall by more than 10 percent relative to 2013 because of PEDv and consumers have seen store pork prices rise by almost 10 percent in the past year. A year ago, we didn’t expect PEDv and these other viruses would have this great an impact to industry. In conjunction with States and industry, we decided at that time, the best course of action was for industry to address and manage PEDv and these other viruses, with support from USDA.
Because these diseases are having a significant impact right now on one of our major livestock industries, we believe it important from the standpoint of overall U.S. animal health for USDA and State animal health authorities to play a greater role in monitoring these diseases, tracing their spread, and advising on best practices to address and control them.
The industry is already seeing herds previously impacted by the virus become re-infected, and routine and standard disease reporting will help determine the magnitude of the disease in the United States and document progress in managing the disease. It will also help us to determine any additional steps we should take in conjunction with States and industry to better control the spread of these viruses.
Since PEDv was recently confirmed a second time in a previously infected herd, it is even more critical that we address the swine enteric coronavirus diseases now. This will help lessen the impact on producers – both with herds previously affected and those with unaffected herds.
Q. Is there a vaccine available?
A. USDA is collaborating with ARS, industry and the private sector on vaccine development. However, it will be some time before these are ready for trials.