Innovative strategies for managing swine welfare during the COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa

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Rademacher, Christopher J.
Eggers, Jamee
Gabler, Nicholas K.
Greiner, Laura L.
Kaisand, Jeff
Karriker, Locke A.
Millman, Suzanne T.
Patience, John F.
Ramirez, Brett C.
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Oxford University Press
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Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal MedicineAnimal ScienceAgricultural and Biosystems EngineeringCollege of Agriculture and Life SciencesEconomicsBiomedical SciencesIowa Pork Industry Center
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization and its impact on animal agriculture in the United States was undeniable. By April, COVID-19 resulted in the simultaneous closure or reduced operations of many meat processing plants in the upper Midwest, leading to supply chain disruptions. In Iowa, the leading pork production and processing state, these disruptions caused producer uncertainty, confusion, and stress, including time-sensitive challenges for maintaining animal care. The Iowa Resource Coordination Center (IRCC) was quickly created and launched by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). The IRCC included public representation from the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA), Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC), and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and private partners including producers, veterinarians, and technical specialists. Supporting swine welfare, the IRCC provided information on management strategies, dietary alterations to slow pig growth, alternative markets, on-farm euthanasia, and mass depopulation under veterinary oversight. In a crisis, Iowa created a model that reacted to producers’ pragmatic, mental and emotional needs. This model could be quickly replicated with an introduction of foreign animal disease.
This is the version of record for the article Johnson, A., C. Rademacher, J. Eggers, N. Gabler, L. Greiner, J. Kaisand, L. Karriker et al. "Innovative strategies for managing swine welfare during the COVID-19 pandemic in Iowa." Translational Animal Science 5, no. 4 (2021). Available online at DOI: 10.1093/tas/txab225. Copyright 2021 The Author(s). Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Posted with permission.
animal care, coordination, mental-support, resources, tools