US SHIP is a voluntary program. As a US SHIP participant, you can choose to enroll some or all of your sites with the OSA in the state where your site is located. A biosecurity enrollment survey must be completed by each US SHIP participant for the state in which site is located. Once enrolled, participants will need to meet (or exceed) requirements for biosecurity, traceability, and sampling and testing that are approved at the House of Delegates.
Participants will need to enroll their farm site(s) with the US SHIP Official State Agency in which the farm site(s) is(are) located, meet or exceed the requirements for certification, and be able to verify compliance with the program standards on an as-needed basis.
Producers will be responsible for the costs incurred associated with meeting or exceeding the requirements for certification. Requirements for certification are anticipated to include maintaining a valid client patient relationship with a licensed (accredited) veterinarian and meeting or exceeding program standards that center on biosecurity, traceability, and sampling and testing. The requirements for biosecurity and traceability are aligned with common standards of practice. At present, there is no sampling and testing requirements in year 1 (2022). It is anticipated that sampling and testing at an individual site level will be very minimal (e.g., 1 targeted pooled sample/site/year from commercial scale farms) as long as the US is free of ASF and CSF.
Certified producers participating in US SHIP will benefit by being recognized for complying with the program standards for biosecurity, traceability, and sampling and testing. These standards will leverage existing programs and processes (i.e. Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) and Secure Pork Supply (SPS)) and establish precedent for their use across all participating states and regions of the US. US SHIP aims to play a primary role in helping support the responsible movement of swine and continuity of business and trade outside of ASF-CSF control areas. Implementing uniform and effective systems for early detection and demonstrating evidence of freedom of disease are foundational elements needed to support ongoing interstate and international commerce over the course of a response and recovery period.
No, only producers located in states that have committed to participating in the US SHIP pilot program and have established an Official State Agency to oversee the program for their state can participate. Additional states and their producers can join the US SHIP pilot at any time.
Yes, non-commercial sites such as show pig or hobby farms can and are encouraged to participate in the US SHIP pilot program. It is anticipated that there will be a non-commercial classification within the program which may have different certification requirements.
A basic tenet of the US SHIP pilot program is to leverage existing efforts, programs, and tools in the US swine industry today, to avoid “recreating the wheel”. The SPS plan is being considered in the draft biosecurity standards. It is anticipated that producers currently complying with SPS will meet the US SHIP pilot program requirements for certification.
The US SHIP Official State Agencies (OSAs) will be expected to periodically audit (verify) the program participant records for certification. Such periodic auditing is a foundational element to ensure program participant information, compliance with program standards, and their associated US SHIP certification(s) status remain current. For the pilot phase, the US SHIP program administrators are purposely not attempting to be overly prescriptive as to the frequency of audits.
Herd veterinarians will play a vital role in helping facilitate their producer clients’ participation and certification in the US SHIP pilot program, consistent with the roles and responsibilities they are routinely playing in supporting the herd health related needs of their clientele. Maintaining a VCPR with a herd veterinarian of record is a requirement for farm sites to participate and be certified in the US SHIP pilot program.