Maybe the industry needs to ask some serious questions about the work of the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network; why isn’t the industry coming forward and for what reasons to support it financially.
CSHIN manager Dr. Chris Byra is encouraging stakeholders within Canada’s pork industry to support resumption of Canada’s national swine health surveillance system.
“We’ve had several examples of how the system can be of value in providing an early warning of developing disease trends and, in the case of PED, the Data Network demonstrated its ability to substantiate that a disease was not present in Canada,” said Byra. “Other countries seem to be modeling things after CSHIN.”
He says the person with the original ideas here, Dr. John Berezowski, is in Europe now and together four countries are building a similar system under his guidance. Australia has gone that route and the U.S. has a large project in 15 states to do something similar.
“I think at this point we’re ahead of the game or ahead of the world and the fact that people are copying what we’re doing is probably an indication that we might be on the right track,” Byra said. “We have a number of anecdotal examples that make us realize this is a system that’s capable of doing pretty much what we said it would in detecting emerging diseases and doing some analytical work with producer diseases that right now nobody is doing on a national basis and I think it should be supported.”
He strongly encourages anyone who is concerned that it shuts down to contact the Canadian Pork Council or Agriculture Canada about continuation of this.
“I’m fairly certain that funding for this down the road, assuming it does start up again, will come from multiple places not just producers. There’ll be multiple stakeholders. Some have already come forward,” he adds.
Dr. Byra says the network has vastly improved the communication between vets and producers and is probably the least expensive emerging disease surveillance system available. •
— By Harry Siemens