The Secure Pork Supply (SPS) Plan program has been quickly gaining traction and adoption due to the uptick in producer and packer desire to be prepared in the unfortunate event of an introduction of a foreign animal disease (FAD) into the US. Of important note, this is a VOLUNTARY program designed for livestock producers to demonstrate their level of preparedness. The SPS Plan is specifically for swine producers. Other livestock species that may be affected have their own plans/guides/outlines, many of which utilize similar principles.
The main goal of the (SPS) Plan is to provide a ready and workable plan for hog farmers who are not affected or related to an outbreak of the FAD infection, yet are located in a “regulatory Control Area” or near infection area, that is credible to the Responsible Regulatory Officials. The reason for this is to allow those un-affected farmers or producers to return to regular operations and move animals when needed or desired as quickly as possible. Completing a SPS Plan prior to an FAD outbreak will help streamline coordination and communication between everyone involved by proactively preparing and gathering the basic paperwork that a regulatory official needs. It is important to note it is only meant to provide a starting point or guide all stakeholders as to who/where/why/how and may change or vary depending on the specifics of the outbreak event.
The “BIG 3” FADs of concern in pigs are of course, African Swine Fever (ASF), classical swine fever (CSF), and foot and mouth disease (FMD). As ASF persists in challenging parts of the world, this FAD is continuing to put pressure on swine production. If a FAD hits, the details of where, who, when, and possibly how that specific FAD is found will likely influence the response plan. Timing will be of the essence, and state/federal officials will need several days or weeks to go through, trace back and review potential exposure points before they feel confident geographically similar or related sites can be cleared to safely move without increasing the spread of the FAD. If a FAD is identified, there will be a regulatory control area established, requiring nearby producers to follow a SPS plan for obtaining a permit to move healthy animals. It is stated that more than likely there will be at minimum a 3 day long, or more, national stop-movement on all susceptible species and animal products. That means at least 3 full days of no animal movement in or out of any site across the nation. This is why getting a jump start on preparing a SPS plan specific for your site is important, as once an outbreak is confirmed, time will be of the essence. The reaction will not be contained to only a 10 miles radius around the first site that gets hit; there will be a ripple effect that includes everyone with relationship with that first site in the US.
To prepare producers for a FAD event, the USDA, APHIS, pork checkoff, and many other allied groups joined forces to produce a variety of documents, articles, videos, training materials forms, and extra information on each specific FAD of concern. Securepork.org is a great place to get started.
Some of the key items you should complete for your SPS plan include:
• Your National Premise Identicication Number (PremID)
o If you’re unsure of your PremID, check with your state livestock/animal health office. Most hog sites already have one, and it has become common practice to include this number on any animal documents relating to a site, such as diagnostic lab submission forms or health paper forms.
• Identify the biosecurity manager for the site to manage training, communication, ensure compliance, and follow through with the completion of the SPS plan for the site
• Start (if not already established) and maintain movement records of animals, feed, supplies, equipment, personnel and visitors to the site.
• Create and review a map of the site. This is easily done from google.maps. Outline and document all the site-specific biosecurity plan details outlined when creating a premises map on the SPS website.
• Download, go through and enter all the information on the biosecurity plan templates provided on securepork.org for the appropriate site type.
• The SPS website has a wealth of other extra information, templates, and resources for detailing each of the items required in the template.
After you create your SPS plan, the biosecurity manager and your herd veterinarian should review it based on the items listed above. At that point, depending on the state (each state has their own level of documentation they require), your veterinarian will complete and send the forms that should accompany the SPS plan and get you on the “early list to move” in the case of an FAD.
If you are still reading this by now, you are probably looking for one last easy out, but my two cents is that in the end every hog producer should get their plan completed. The likelihood of the first FAD landing in your back yard is like randomly dropping a dart from any plane flying over the country. While the changes an FAD happens close to you, we should remember that our industry is nationally integrated and internationally dependent. The cost after that first FAD confirmation will affect everyone. Maintaining or regaining selling opportunities will require a group effort from us to demonstrate and prove to the world’s consumers our efforts, resources, and preparedness for containing the next FAD.