Learning What Works in Animal Welfare Deb Moore, Illinois Farmer, as part of the Illinois Farm Families, took part in the 2013 European Union Animal Care Study Tour to learn more about how the EU handles the concerns of consumers. The tour looked at agriculture in six countries across beef, dairy, pork, and poultry. Ms. Moore and her tour group looked at the applications of animal welfare on EU farm operations. Ms. Moore offers a good ground level perspective on the application of animal welfare in EU agriculture that USA farmers and ranchers can take in for consideration.
Ready For 3 Billion? Marty Matlock, PhD, Executive Director, The Office for Sustainability and Sustainability Academic Programs, University of Arkansas, says he is preaching to the choir, he also states that the choir needs practice because the choir is out of tune and must have a cohesive language to talk about sustainable agriculture. With 3 billion people coming to dinner in the next 40 years, there has to be a conversation about how the people on Earth will continue.
What Can We Learn? Paul Sundberg, DVM, PhD, Vice President, National Pork Board, suggests that there have been lessons learned but there are most likely more to learn. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in the US continues to be the focus of the pork industry and there are still operations getting infected. Dr. Sundberg shares key points: sharing data and analysis is key; producers are accepting that data sharing is part of the solution; and you can't be comfortable or complacent.
Global GMOs Or Else Marty D. Matlock, Office for Sustainability, Center for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability, University of Arkansas, talks about the impacts of genetically modified organism (GMO) products on food security and trade. People want to trust their food is secure (safe to eat, healthy, and available at a reasonable cost). Dr. Matlock suggests in the next 40 to 60 years the ability to feed the 3 billion coming to dinner will need. biotechnology and genetics to insure those new people have food to eat and keep the the world stable.
Pain: Abolishing a Necessary Evil Donald C. Lay Jr., PhD, Research Leader, Livestock Behavior Research Unit, USDA, talks about the notion of pain in animals and how research is being done to reduce or eliminate animal pain. New regulations, policies, and consumer demands are driving food animal producers to develop new approaches to raising livestock.
State of PEDv Lisa Becton, DVM MS DACVPM, Director, National Pork Board, reviews the current state of the PEDv research that has been funded. Dr. Becton provides an historical review and then outlines the focus on the research going forward. Key outcomes include communication tools development and use to insure all parts of the swine ecosystem have information to reduce the risks of PEDv.
Veterinary Services' Current Swine Activities and Updates Troy Bigelow, DVM, USDA, APHIS, VS, NCAHP, outlines the major swine health surveillance initiatives that are in play. Diseases, like pseudorabies and swine brucellosis, are monitored on a regular basis. Tool have been developed to identify hotspots, risks are assessed, and communications integration with other organizations is setup. Improvements have been identified and resources (dollars and people) are continuously being worked on.
Being Prepared For Anything Ms. Cindy Cunningham, Assistant Vice President of Communications, National Pork Board, helps explain plans in place to allow the pork industry to function if there is a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. Ms. Cunningham also highlights the research on vaccinations in progress and what role communication plays in the event of a crisis.
If Not Vaccination, Then What? James Roth, DVM, Director, Center for Food Security and Public Health and Executive Director, Institute for International Cooperation in Animal Biologics, Iowa State University, talks specifically about foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccinations: its availability, effectiveness, and limitations. Dr. Roth uses the lessons learned from porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) to highlight approaches to handling animal diseases: what works and what needs adjusting.
Risk, Perception, & Its Research Amy Delgado, DVM, Veterinary Epidemiologist, Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, USDA, APHIS, VS, STAS, talks about the state of the art in understanding risk perception. Dr. Delgado also presents information about producer cooperation / risk perception and touches on research (with case studies) that is being done.