USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plans to conduct a 2012 swine-focused National Animal Health Monitoring Study (NAHMS). Starting in 1990, APHIS, in collaboration with the National Agricultural Statistics Service, has conducted a national survey of the swine industry approximately every five years.

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the National Pork Board support this effort and encourage the participation of swine veterinarians and producers.
The purpose of this study will be to:

  • Describe current U.S. swine production practices including general management practices, housing practices, productivity, disease prevention, and mortality for five phases of production: gestation, farrowing, nursery, grow/finish and wean-to-finish;
  • Describe trends in swine health and management practices;
  • Determine the prevalence and associated risk factors for select respiratory, neurologic, gastrointestinal, systemic and food-borne pathogens found in weaned market hogs;
  • Describe antibiotic usage patterns in weaned market hogs to control and treat disease and promote growth;
  • Evaluate presence of or exposure to select pathogens and characterize isolated organisms from the collection of biological specimens; and
  • Estimate the economic cost of a selected respiratory, neurologic, gastrointestinal, systemic, or food-borne pathogen found in commercial swine herds.

As has been the case with previous studies, the Swine 2012 study will consist of a screener questionnaire, several on-farm questionnaires and biologic sampling. All of these activities will be administered by National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, designated data collectors. The information collected through the Swine 2012 study will be analyzed and used to:

  • Direct producer education;
  • Identify research gaps;
  • Facilitate education of future producers and veterinarians;
  • Assess quality assurance programs; and
  • Help with policy formation.

APHIS is accepting public comments until Oct. 24, 2011. The Federal Register notice can be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0084-0001