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Bio-security protocols can help in reducing threat of PEDv

Since 2001, the pork industry's Transport Quality Assurance program has tried to promote responsible practices when handling and transporting pigs.

In that time, Transport Quality Assurance program has undergone five revisions -- always striving to offer the most current, science-based information on humane handling, bio-security and proper transportation of swine.

The South Dakota Pork Producers say Transport Quality Assurance program uses the most current industry-proven techniques in an effort to build consumer confidence and understanding of the high-quality pork products delivered to market every day.

"Since porcine epidemic diarrhea virus is spread mainly by the fecal-oral route, strict bio-security protocols can significantly help in reducing the threat of PEDv and other diseases, and the Transport Quality Assurance program does an excellent job of emphasizing everyone's responsibility within the pork chain," said Dr. Bob Thaler, SDSU Extension swine specialist.

The updated program also provides a new approach to understanding basic pig behavior and body language, and how it contributes to a safe and positive experience for both the pig and the handler.

Additionally, adapting to changes in weather, especially temperature extremes, costs the U.S. pork industry millions of dollars annually. Handlers and transporters must understand the affect weather can have on pigs during transport, and how best to protect them during extreme weather. The revised Transport Quality Assurance program teaches transporters the importance of planning ahead and properly bedding and boarding trailers.