GREAT FALLS – Pork producers met in Great Falls on Tuesday to discuss and prepare for animal health emergencies.
Recently, several regions throughout the world have become affected by African Swine Fever.
This deadly virus is extremely contagious to both domestic and wild pigs and is very hard to control due to the lack of a vaccine.
According to the Montana Department of Livestock, if this disease did make it to the U.S. there would major economic impacts due to lost markets and restricted animal movement.
“This is a proactive step. We do not have a foreign animal disease in the county,” said Montana Department of Livestock Program Veterinarian Anna Forseth.
“So we’re really working to get producers educated about what they might expect and how they can best prepare.”
To lessen the potential impact, the Montana Department of Livestock has introduced the Secure Pork Supply Plan.
The program focuses on aspects that determine if a producer is a low risk of having or spreading a disease.
“We talk to the producer a lot about bio-security on their farms, about surveillance, so watching for clinical signs associated with diseases we’re concerned about, keeping good records, and having a National Premises ID number,” Forseth said.
By focusing on these key points, it gives producers an avenue to continue business amidst potential restrictions.
The Montana Department of Livestock will be hosting two more classes on the Secure Pork Supply requirements in July 2019.
The next will be in Great Falls on July 9 at the Montana Expo Park. The second will be in Lewistown on July 30 at the Lewistown Elks 456. Both meetings will run from 9:30 a.m. to Noon.
Contact Sara Starkey at (406) 444-1587 or email her at email@example.com to RSVP.
-Jason Laird reporting for MTN News