DES MOINES, IOWA — A comprehensive on-farm plan has been created through teamwork between state and federal animal health officials and pork producers to ensure the pork industry operates normally in the event a U.S. herd is suspected or confirmed as being infected with the novel 2009 H1N1 virus, according to the National Pork Board.

Surveillance and actions recommended when novel H1N1 is confirmed are both addressed by the plan. In such cases, state animal health officials remain the primary source of reliable information regarding novel H1N1 in swine in their respective states. They will be critical to the plan’s successful implementation.

According to the plan, the herd veterinarian will work with the state animal health official and the pork producer to monitor animals for illness. Once the herd veterinarian has determined the animals have recovered, or through direction of the state animal health official, pigs would be allowed to move freely through production and market channels.

"This plan of action is an important step to ensure the best possible outcome for producers, pigs and consumers," said Dr. Paul Sundberg, vice-president of science and technology for the Pork Checkoff. "It strengthens the already-strong relationship the pork industry has with state and federal animal health officials, which will allow us to act quickly if the novel H1N1 virus is detected at the farm level. In addition, the plan will allow recovered pigs to move through production and market channels, which should reassure producers at this time."

Pork producers should continue to work with their veterinarian to implement strict biosecurity protocols to prevent possible transmission of the novel H1N1 virus onto their farms, N.P.B. concluded.