Swine Health Improvement Plan (SHIP)

US SHIP is modeled after the very successful National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) that has been in place since 1935. US SHIP is intended to provide a national program for certifying health status and is initially focused on African Swine Fever (ASF) and Classical Swine Fever (CSF). Our state has committed to participating in US SHIP and we encourage all of our swine producers to enroll their production and packing site(s) in this unique program. Industry and state representation from our state attended the inaugural US SHIP House of Delegates in August 2021 and approved the initial requirements for certification in the program.

The benefits of US SHIP enrollment include:

  • Strengthened ASF/CSF preparedness (prevention, response and recovery) for our state.
  • Establish a uniform biosecurity, traceability, sampling/testing approach across participating states in “peacetime” as well as “wartime.”
  • Participation in a collaborative industry (producers/packers), state, and federal program in which producers can help establish appropriate standards for health certification.

Enrollment in US SHIP is by site and is fairly straightforward:

  • Complete the enrollment form (either single premises or multi-premises form).
  • Complete the biosecurity enrollment survey provided after you submit your enrollment form.
  • Show ability to provide 30 days of swine movement records in an electronic format.

African Swine Fever

African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly contagious disease of swine with the potential to infect domesticated hogs, warthogs, European wild boar and American wild pigs. The virus has the capability to manifest with a wide range of clinical signs and lesions. It can spread very rapidly in pig populations. The virus is found in all body fluids and tissues. ASF cannot be differentiated from classical swine fever by either clinical or postmortem examination.

There are some areas of the world where ASF is endemic, including countries of sub-Saharan Africa. It is also found in areas of Asia, Europe, Russia, China and Vietnam. Pigs become infected by direct contact with infected pigs or by ingestion of unprocessed infected pig meat or products, including frozen meats. Biting flies, ticks, contaminated farms, and fomites can also spread the virus.

There are no treatments or vaccines available. Control and eradication of the disease is based on identification of infected animals through surveillance, removal of infected herds, and preventing exposure of additional herds.

ASF does not affect human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans.

Strict biosecurity measures are essential to prevent the introduction and spread of the virus. The Board, federal agencies and industry partners are preparing for the potential introduction of this disease in this country. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has the following safeguards in place to reduce the risk of introduction into the United States: 

  • Import restrictions on pork and pork products.
  • Increased vigilance from Customs and Border Protection staff at ports of entry, paying particular attention to passengers and products arriving from China.
  • Increased collaboration with states that allow garbage feeding to ensure the swine industry follows best practices and encourages testing of sick pigs in these garbage feeders to include ASF.
  • Increased messaging to industry partners to raise awareness of the direct biosecurity concerns with foreign visitors to domestic swine operations.

The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is approved to test for ASF. The Board supports the VDL in its efforts to better prepare for this disease, which include expanding the types of samples which may be used for diagnosis.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus

On June 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a federal order that requires producers, veterinarians and diagnostic laboratories to report herds that are positive with swine enteric coronavirus diseases (SECD), specifically porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV). The federal order also requires producers to work with a veterinarian to develop and follow a herd management plan to minimize the spread and impact of the disease.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus does not affect people and is not a food safety concern.

History of PEDv in the U.S.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) was discovered in the U.S. in April 2013. At the onset, symptoms including severe diarrhea and vomiting in young pigs led farmers and veterinarians to believe the disease was Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE), a disease commonly found in pigs in the U.S. It was soon evident that this disease was something different, causing more significant death loss in piglets. First identified in Europe in the 1970s, PEDv has become common in Asia and has also been confirmed in Canada. How the disease entered the U.S. swine population is unknown.

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) is a disease in pigs that causes animal suffering and results in major economic loss. Since the 1980s PRRS has been common in the U.S. and Minnesota is no exception.

According to the Minnesota Pork Board, our state ranks second nationally in the number of hogs raised and second in the value of the animals sold for meat processing. Swine producers care about their animals and work hard to raise a quality product. PRRS can cause mild to severe respiratory issues in all age pigs, abortions in sows, and premature and poor-doing baby pigs. The swine community continues to work to understand how to control the spread of the virus while caring for the animals. The virus that causes PRRS can spread through many mediums including semen, nasal discharge, contaminated equipment, and through the air. Because the virus moves around so easily, PRRS is difficult to contain and nearly impossible to eradicate completely.

PRRS is not a reportable disease but has greatly impacted the state’s pork sector. Minnesota has taken an active role in PRRS research and is participating in a regional elimination project. To minimize risk of disease transmission of any kind, we encourage the implementation of biosecurity standards set by our industry partners.

Garbage Feeding (Class A)

Feeding food waste to livestock is also known as garbage feeding. Garbage feeding can be an economical and nutritious form of animal feed, but it must be done properly. Food waste that contains meat or has been exposed to meat has the potential to carry disease. Our rules set standards for how garbage needs to be handled and cooked so that foot-and-mouth disease, hog cholera and other harmful diseases stay out of Minnesota.

Producers who would like to feed garbage to livestock can do so by first contacting the Board to request a Class A permit. One of our agricultural advisors will then schedule a visit to get the details including source of the garbage and the producer’s plans for hauling and cooking. Once a permit is granted it is good for one year. The permit is an agreement between the producer and the Board that garbage fed to livestock will be thoroughly heated to at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Additionally, trucks that haul garbage over public roads must be leak-proof, and rodents and pests must be kept away from uncooked garbage on the farm. We inspect garbage feeding farms each month to make sure these important rules are followed.

Though permitted producers could feed garbage to any type of livestock or poultry, there are currently only hog farms on the list in Minnesota.

Permitted Garbage Feeder Class A County Phone number
Luke Barthold Isanti 612-444-9828
Peter Barthold Isanti 763-286-4466
David Johnson Isanti 763-286-5557
Dale Klar Pine 320-279-2371

Exempt Materials Feeding (Class B)

Feeding food waste to livestock is also known as garbage feeding. Garbage feeding can be an economical and nutritious form of animal feed, but it must be done properly. Food waste that contains meat or has been exposed to meat has the potential to carry disease. Our rules set standards for how garbage needs to be handled and cooked so that foot-and-mouth disease, hog cholera and other harmful diseases stay out of Minnesota.

Food waste that has never had contact with meat is known as exempt materials. Some examples of exempt materials include bakery items, cereals and candy that came directly from the store or food processing plant. Producers who wish to feed non-meat food waste to animals may do so by obtaining a Board-issued Class B permit to feed exempt materials. Exempt materials do not need to be cooked before feeding to livestock. Exempt (class B) materials are fed to cattle and pigs.

Permitted Exempt Feeder Class B County Phone number
Three J Farms LLC Anoka 763-202-6699
Doubting Thomas Farms Clay 218-790-0290
Select Milling Dodge 507-527-2000
Ries Farms LLC Goodhue 651-437-5140
Paul and Tamara Musty Olmsted 507-250-3402
Albert Werner Otter Tail 218-371-1356
Kevin Rodewald Otter Tail 218-234-5240
Paul Zimmerman Stearns 320-352-3629
Michael Vreeman Wabasha 507-367-2395

Feral Swine

Feral swine are pigs that live in the wild. Feral pigs carry dangerous diseases, which we have worked hard to eradicate from our livestock. Those diseases pose a significant threat to commercial hogs and other domestic animals. Feral swine populations are mainly in the southern U.S., and we do all we can to make sure they stay out of Minnesota.

Minnesota prohibits the importation of feral swine. Swine who were feral at any point in their lifetime and whole carcasses are also prohibited from entering the state. Processed feral swine products like cut and wrapped meat, hides, teeth and finished taxidermy mounts may be imported.