Biosecurity and surveillance are complementary. Health surveillance in human, plant, or animal contexts involves collecting, analyzing, and interpreting health-related data. These data then inform what is done in terms of health programs and strategic communication. National surveillance systems often rely on the reporting of diagnoses of certain diseases to regulatory agencies. However, agricultural industries can find value in sharing disease incidence data for diseases that do not require reporting to regulatory authorities.
The Morrison Swine Health Reporting Program based at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine arose out of an attempt to determine the incidence of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) among sow farms. This disease is a viral disease of variable virulence that may result in abortions or pneumonia. Although not a nationally notifiable disease, PRRS is the most economically significant disease of the US swine industry. This voluntary, information-sharing surveillance program is unique among animal industries and has been extended to include additional diseases.