CWSHIN serves western swine producers, swine herd practitioners and governments to improve swine health, production, and the economic prosperity of the sector.
Our vision is to have a surveillance system imbedded in an intelligence network that monitors diseases both present and absent.
The core of the surveillance system is the quarterly conference calls which bring together swine herd veterinarians and swine health experts in western Canada. Prior to the calls, CWSHIN collects clinical impression surveys completed by practitioners, laboratory data and other publicly available data such as federal inspected abattoir data. The data is then analyzed and presented for discussion during the calls.
Following the calls, reports are distributed to swine veterinarians and producers, with information on swine health trends in the region and swine health updates from around the world.
CWSHIN also participates in the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network (CSHIN) to provide the western experience of swine health within Canada. Other CSHIN partners include the Ontario Animal Health Network (OAHN) and Réseau d’alerte et d’information Zoosanitaire (RAIZO).
One of the objectives of CWSHIN is to detect new and emerging health issues in the swine sector. Therefore, we want to discuss events with unusual clinical presentations of disease or presence of rare diseases. To detect these events comments made practitioners in the quarterly Clinical Impression Surveys are invaluable.
This quarter we had three good examples.
Streptococcus equii zooepidemicus (Strep zoo) was detected...
The surveillance resulted in two themes for further exploration and discussion: 1) digestive syndrome (with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) in Manitoba, diarrhea, and non-infectious digestive conditions) and 2) skin syndrome (below normal trend).
The CWSHIN Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from each of the western pork boards, with the western provincial agriculture ministries holding ex-officio status. The Manager of CWSHIN reports to the Board and oversees all of the organization’s activities. Within the organization, there are two working groups providing additional leadership and guidance: the Quarterly Team and the Scientific Technical Group.
Made up of swine health experts from across western Canada, the Quarterly Team provides the herd health, laboratory and abattoir data that feeds into the surveillance system. The CWSHIN Manager chairs this group of swine veterinarians, laboratories, provincial veterinarians and staff from the provincial pork organizations.
The role of the Scientific Technical Group is to provide guidance and recommendations to the CWSHIN Board of Directors on the four pillars of the network: science, management, communication and documentation. CWSHIN’s Manager chairs the group, which includes representation from each of the provincial pork boards and the provincial offices of the Chief Veterinarian. As required, other swine health experts will be brought in to offer their experience and expertise.
Dr. Jette Christensen DVM, PhD, joined CWSHIN in April 2018.
Dr. Christensen has 30 years of experience in all phases of national animal health monitoring, surveillance and disease control programs gained from field work in Denmark and Canada, including:
In her early years with CFIA, Dr. Christensen worked with CPC (Canadian Pork Council) and all provincial pork councils across Canada on premises identification and traceability in swine.
In her latter years with the Agency, she initiated work on: scenario tree models to demonstrate freedom from avian influenza in poultry; Pseudorabies (Aujeszky’s Disease); and, in collaboration with the Atlantic Veterinary College/Canadian Swine Health Board, and Trichinella in swine in Canada. The work on swine diseases was part of Canadian Swine Surveillance System (CanSwineSurv), with the goal of supporting Canada’s claim of freedom from Trichinella, Brucella and Pseudorabies to maintain Canada’s international market access.
These activities led to a good understanding of the principles that guide non-tariff trade barriers, such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines for international trade with animals and animal products.
Originally from Denmark, Dr. Christensen moved to Canada in 2001. She lives on Prince Edward Island with her husband and two daughters.