The Show Pig Working Group has developed a set of biosecurity guidelines to follow for this summer's exhibition season in light of the H1N1 Influenza A Virus outbreak.

That group includes the National Association of Swine Records, swine Extension leaders and the National Pork Producers Council.

A meeting of representatives facilitated by the National Pork Board resulted in a list of recommendations designed to manage risk at swine show events, says Lisa Becton, DVM, director of Swine Health Information & Research for the Pork Board.

The group received input on a draft of risk management options from the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state veterinarians, influenza researchers, state swine Extension specialists and the Pork Checkoff's Animal Science, Swine Health and Public Health/Producer Safety committees.

Becton says the group has also approached the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians and several state veterinarians to assist in the development of a plan to identify and respond to influenza-like illness in pigs and/or exhibitors at swine shows.

The recommendations emphasize practicing good biosecurity measures to reduce the chance of tracking diseases back to the farm or exposing the public to potentially zoonotic diseases.

The suggested measures include encouraging terminal shows, increasing awareness of animals exhibiting clinical signs of disease, isolating animals returning to the farm following the show, discouraging public contact with the animals, increasing sanitation (such as hand-washing stations) and promoting public education.

For more information on the list of biosecurity measures, contact Becton at the Pork Board by phone (515) 223-2791 or e-mail lbecton@pork.org.