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Pig Tales

Hog farmers know what happens when the highly contagious pseudo rabies virus invades a herd. It passes almost instantaneously among animals, lowering their immunities and triggering spontaneous abortions in sows.  

Before: Slow and Costly 

In the past, when a veterinarian pronounced a herd contaminated, the stock was lost. As a result, affected farmers, community service contractors, and creditors suffered financially. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided them with financial relief, the payment process took 30 to 45 days. That was too long to wait.

After: Fast and Efficient 

In 1999, Fred Luckeroth of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Minneapolis Business Service suggested that APHIS write "on-the-spot" checks to farmers for indemnity claims triggered by contaminated herds. Within two days, APHIS employees Mary Thornhill, Arlette Johnson, and Inez DeCoteau set up temporary offices near areas in Iowa and Indiana that had high contamination rates. The result; farmers, creditors, and community contractors quickly got paid via mail or personal pick-up. 

It’s a "win-win" situation. With the payment process ironed out, APHIS veterinarians now have more time to help farmers decontaminate and eradicate pseudo rabies from their farms, and communities stay on-track financially during contamination crises. The "on-the-spot" check payment initiative has been so successful that USDA now is considering other applications as well, like using the plan to pay crop insurance payments. 

For More Information visit the APHIS Internet site, or contact Denise A. Barnes at (612) 370-2147.


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