WASHINGTON – The problem of feral hogs has led to a new action plan to address swine brucellosis (SB) and pseudorabies (PRV), according to USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

APHIS said there have been no recent outbreaks of SB or PRV in commercial production swine. However, APHIS has identified several swine herds throughout the US that were infected with SB or PRV. None of the affected herds were used for commercial production, but the infections were all attributed to exposure to feral swine or to herds which may have had feral swine exposure, the agency said. Feral hogs are known to carry SB and PRV. The proposed action plan incorporates the risk of disease exposure presented by feral swine, which is not addressed in current regulations.

“This action plan outlines a potential new approach to our regulations,” said John R. Clifford, deputy administrator for APHIS' Veterinary Services program. “We recognize that our animal health status related to these diseases has changed, and we'd like to bring our regulations up to date to address current risks.”

The proposed action plan details issues with existing regulations, and presents a draft regulatory framework to potentially address these issues, to reduce the regulatory burden associated with outdated provisions of the programs, and to combine the SB and PRV programs into one program, APHIS said.

The proposed action plan is in the Feb. 7 issue of the Federal Register.