Blogging from the Ohio Swine Health Symposium

Lindsay and I are broadcasting today from Der Dutchman in Plain City at the Ohio Swine Health Symposium hosted by The Ohio State University Extension and sponsored in part by our friends at the Ohio Pork Producers Council. Lindsay is just outside the symposium room doing the midday broadcast, and I’m sitting in the back of the room quasi-liveblogging the event.


As we speak, Dr. Tony Forshey, our State Veterinarian at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, is speaking about emerging issues in the hog industry. Some of the items Dr. Forshey has discussed thus far include feral hogs in Ohio, hog cholera and the prospects for importing the disease from Caribbean or Central American countries, expansion of the hog industry in the state, swine influenza popups, and national animal identification. At the risk of having this thread hijacked by anti-NAIS folks, I will share that Dr. Forshey shared his preference would be for the state to mandate premises registration for livestock facilities. The Governor has dictated that we will remain voluntary, however, so voluntary is what our state will remain.


Dr. Forshey is now updating producers on the Labtraq system, a web-based system accessible to vets 24/7 in a web-based format. Dr. Forshey says this system is the

Caddillac system in the country for providing lab results back to local vets. He shared that the way mail is sorted at the State Government level, results are often 14 days coming from the time they leave ODA in Reynoldsburg to the time they arrive at the vet’s office. The Labtraq system will allow those results to be delivered back in realtime. Neato, huh?


By the way, the room is full. This is a great crowd of producers, indicating a significant interest among the swine production professionals in Ohio in keeping our hog herd as healthy as possible.


And, for what its worth, Dr. Forshey says we all need to be out hunting these feral hogs; the population is in the thousands, and these animals are dangerous. Have your hunting license handy and get to work.


Later today, the agenda will shift to overall herd health and disease prevention, followed by a set of case studies on biosecurity focusing on specific operations. After lunch, we’ll hear from producers and veterinarians alike on panels ranging from euthanasia to pathogens and vaccinations.


Oh, and at further risk of launching a raft of anti-NAIS sentiment, Dale Ricker just pointed out that for producers looking to certify under PQA Plus, Premise ID is required… Nearly 40% of Ohio’s swine premises have been registered, well behind the 75% or so of sheep premises, and well ahead of the 18% of cattle premises registered.