As I sit down to write my greetings to you, another case of PED has just been announced in Manitoba. It had appeared that winter had come and gone with our industry in relative safety from this virus. But just as the weather warms and perhaps we relaxed our guard a bit, it is back. Personally the emergence of PEDV has forced me to consider how quickly a FAD could enter our industry. I've thought about our ability to identify, contain and control an emerging threat. But at the same time, it has brought immense pride as I watch you, our members, work effectively and collaboratively across our region. Perhaps similar thoughts were on the minds of the conference planning committee. They have pulled together a thought-provoking and practical agenda for us this fall, without limiting themselves to a PEDV focus.
The agenda along with the speakers will soon be posted on the website, so to avoid spoiling your anticipation, I will only highlight a few sessions and will leave you hanging on the Rhodes lecture. There will be back to back sessions that considering the practitioner's role in an FAD response and industry preparedness to respond. These will be followed by an examination of global swine health and production which will help put the threats into perspective. Prevention will be considered in a session looking at the biosecurity of feed ingredients.
Much of the program is directed at practitioners and this conference will send you back to your farms with ideas ready for implementation. The Friday morning session will focus on diagnostics and control for rotavirus and Influenza. And with a nod the upcoming industry changes, Thursday sessions will update us on the Canadian Pork Excellence program, Animal welfare audits and the Canadian Feeds Act.
The fall conference is certainly the cornerstone of our organization. Under the incredible leadership of John and Jackie, along with volunteer time from many members, and the financial support from our industry partners, we pull together a top-notch CE event every year. We surveyed you and so I know that you feel that this event is central to our organization. But we, your current executive, have been grappling with how far beyond the conference the WCASV mandate extends.
Canada's swine industry has faced numerous emerging issues over the few years. Several issues have been health related and unique in Western Canada. These have included the aforementioned PED incursions, the CFIA truck wash regulations, and supporting the Western Canada Swine Health Intelligence Network. How proactive and involved should the WCASV be on such issues? Our organization has been looking forward to consider if we are meeting expectations and industry needs.
The mandate and vision for the WCASV will be on the agenda for our AGM. In hopes of stimulating some passionate discussion (at 7AM) we are sending out a letter to all members. I hope you take the time to read it and reflect on it prior to the meeting. In the meantime, I wish you a fantastic summer filled with warm (but not too hot) sunshine, appropriately timed rains, and calm mosquito-free evenings. I look forward to seeing each of you in October in Saskatoon.
Dr. Leigh Rosengren, WCASV President
The Annual Conference 2017
October 19 & 20, 2017
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