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NPB is providing producers tools to stay healthy and care for pigs during COVID-19

The National Pork Board is providing producers tools to help them stay informed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Heather Fowler, director of producer and public health with NPB, says it’s a rapidly evolving situation and the pork checkoff is making real time adjustments to help producers, meat packers, restaurants and grocery stores maintain business continuity.

“We’re doing that by putting some tools out for our producers to make sure they’re staying healthy, that they’re keeping their employees healthy, and are able to care for pigs,” she says. “Additionally, we’re partnering with our state associations to make sure they can assist us from a local level in disseminating some of this information and providing local assistance.”

She says producers should stay up-to-date on resources at Pork.org and begin planning.

“We want them to start thinking about how will they take care of pigs if someone calls out because of COVID-19 or if they have a worker and they need to quarantine someone,” she says. “For that we provide farm level crisis plan.”

Fowler says pork producers have had biosecurity plans in place for years to protect their pigs from diseases and they’re prepared to protect the people involved as well.

“So when our producers think of why are they instituting these things like limiting mass gatherings and limiting movement and interactions, I hope they understand it’s based on those same principles they institute every day and hopefully it further enforces the importance of implementing those strategies,” she says.

Fowler says producers should know the signs and seek medical advice if they experience fever, cough, or shortness of breath. She says there are also steps to take to prevent the virus including frequent hand washing, avoiding close contact with someone, avoiding touching eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands, and covering coughs.

Audio: Heather Fowler, National Pork Board

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