Submitted to: Proceedings of Allen D Leman Swine Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/19/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Although most commonly associated with pork, Trichinella spp. are found in virtually all warm-blooded carnivores. Exposure of domestic swine to Trichinella spp. is limited to a few possibilities including: 1) feeding of animal waste products or other feed contaminated with parasites; 2) exposure to rodents or other wildlife infected with trichinae; or 3) cannibalism within an infected herd. The use of good production/management practices for swine husbandry will preclude most risks for exposure to trichinae in the environment. Research efforts and pilot studies involving the National Pork Producers Council, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Agricultural Research Service and private industry and packer groups are currently underway to devise a program for pre-harvest control. This control program will include certification of production practices which eliminate or minimize risk factors for transmission of trichinae to pigs along with systematic monitoring of the product (trichinae-free pigs). The adoption of a trichinae certification program will bring both short- term and long-term benefits to the pork industry. However, it has an additional benefit in that it will serve as a model for future certification programs. Many of the tools, mechanisms and partnerships which are established in the trichinae work will able to be applied directly to the establishment of pre-harvest programs for important zoonotic pathogens including Toxoplasma gondii and Salmonella.