September 17, 2014

Hog producers concerned about mandatory reporting

Some Iowa hog producers and lawmakers are raising concerns about the mandatory reporting requirement being announced by USDA on porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PED virus. Iowa Pork Producers Association president Jamie Schmidt of Garner says he’s worried about the confidentiality of those reports.

Schmidt says using ID numbers instead of names in reporting can help keep producer data confidential. “We feel fairly confident that if we can just use our premise ID numbers, that will help with the confidentiality and that would be a workable solution, but we’ve got to make sure we have something that everybody’s confident in, otherwise the reporting won’t happen like it should,” Schmidt says.

Iowa Congressman Steve King says he worries if confidentiality is breached, animal activists will use that information to hurt pork producers. The disease is widespread and Schmidt says it makes sense to keep close tabs on it, wherever it may appear. “At the present time, our best defense is biosecurity and watching where it goes,” Schmidt says. “The tracking of the disease would be helpful so we can learn how it spreads and we can have a better defense mechanism but we all have to be confident with it.” The current submission requirements for reporting the PED virus includes the herd’s premise ID number, the date the sample was collected, the type of farm, the test method used for diagnosis and the diagnostic test results. That applies only if the herd has tested positive for the virus.

(Reporting by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)