American Association of  
Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians 

In This Issue
Message from the President
U.S. Hog Numbers Decline
Poultry Disinfectant Fails Agaiinst PEDv
Farm Bill Talks To Resume
New Accreditation FAQs Available
Microbiology Position Available
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Executive Board

Catherine Barr,

Thomas McKenna, Immediate Past President

Francois Elvinger,

Tom Baldwin,
Vice President

John Adaska,
Secretary / Treasurer

Sandra Bushmich,
Northeast Rep.

Lanny Pace,
Southeast Rep.

Pat Halbur,
Northcentral Rep.

Hemant Naikare,
Southcentral Rep.

Jerry Heidel,
Northwest Rep.

Hana Van Campen
Southwest Rep.

Estela Cornaglia,
Canada Provincial Rep.

Maria Perrone,
Canada Federal Ex-Officio

Beth Lautner,
NVSL Ex-Officio

Christine Hoang,
AVMA Ex-Officio
Issue: # 12-13
December 2013
Hello 2014 !

AAVLD President Catherine Barr

Happy New Year, y'all!  


It's going to be a busy year for AAVLD!  A number

of new initiatives are underway to enhance member benefits, automate membership processes and increase opportunities for collaboration among members and peer organizations.  


AAVLD will be collaborating with ACVM by hosting

a discussion board for the group, set to come on-line in March 2014.  ACVM will be offering some opportunities for AAVLD members to join the discussion board.


We are also seeking to strengthen our partnership with AVMA through crossover committee memberships - if you are active in AVMA Committee work, please let us hear from you! We'll be reaching out to members who belong to both organizations in the next few months.


A critical initiative for our members right now is the search for our next Editor-in-Chief of JVDI.  Dr. Jerry Saliki is stepping down after ten years of service and many notable accomplishments, such as establishing an online submission/peer review process, implementing an online publication format, increasing international participation and enhancing the impact of JVDI.  AAVLD plans to compliment the hiring of a new Editor-in-Chief by enlisting an additional Scientific Editor for the JVDI staff.  


The Accreditation Committee, led by Dr. Beverly Byrum, is developing an automated internet-based system through the AAVLD website for more efficient transmission of applications, reports and responses associated with the laboratory accreditation process. There are currently 54 accredited labs, each requiring re-accreditation at least every 5 years, and new labs are applying for AAVLD accreditation. AAVLD auditor training is scheduled in Las Vegas, Feb 4-5, in conjunction with meetings of the Accreditation Committee and Executive Board.  


The AAVLD and USAHA Executive Committees and the Government Relations Committee, led by Drs. Barb Powers and Bruce Akey, are preparing for our Government Relations Conference meetings in Washington, DC, March 3-6, with AVMA, AAVMC, AAC, USDA (ARS, APHIS, FSIS, NIFA, NVSL /NAHLN), FDA-CVM, DHS and other partners. AAVLD members will also continue lobbying efforts to secure appropriations for the NAHLN with visits to the offices of key Senators and Representatives.


It's never too early to encourage up-and-coming laboratory diagnosticians to prepare abstracts for Kansas City! Last year, twelve aspiring diagnosticians received AAVLD Trainee Travel Awards of $1000 and free meeting registration. In addition to these, awards were presented at the meeting for the best oral and poster presentations, and for outstanding presentations in Bacteriology, Molecular Biology and Pathology. Dr. Tom McKenna, Past President, will be rounding up the awardees this year, and Dr. Fran´┐Żois Elvinger, our President-Elect, is already working on outlining the Program for the fall. Expect abstract submissions to open by mid-March with a deadline at the beginning of June for the Annual Meeting in Kansas City, MO, October 14-21, 2014.


Stay tuned for more information - and thanks for all you do!

Cat Barr  

AAVLD President

UPDATE: U.S. Hog Herd Falls More Than Expected


U.S. hog herd falls more than expected as virus strikes

Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:55pm EST


By Theopolis Waters


Dec 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. hog herd fell by 1 percent in the latest quarter, slightly more than forecast, U.S. government data showed on Friday, as a deadly swine virus thwarted pork producers' efforts to rebuild herds.


"This confirms that PED is in the nation's hog herd, which was not shown nor implied in their previous report (September)," Rich Nelson, chief strategist at Allendale Inc, said after seeing USDA's lower hog numbers on Friday.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday reported the U.S. hog herd as of Dec. 1 at 99 percent of a year ago, or 65.940 million head. Analysts, on average, expected 66.307 million head, or 99.9 percent of a year earlier. The U.S. hog herd for the same period last year was 66.374 million head.


The quarterly report was the first to show a noticeable drop in hog numbers, which analysts attributed to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), reinforcing expectations that herds will shrink as the industry struggles to develop vaccines to treat the virus that has killed thousands of young pigs across 20 states.

The virus outbreak was largely undetected in USDA's September survey.


In Friday's report, hog numbers in all of the three major categories used by traders and producers as an insight into the state of the market - all hogs and pigs (or inventory), breeding and marketing - came in under expectations.


The closely watched report was surprisingly "bullish", said Nelson.

On Friday, Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures for February delivery closed up 0.35 cent per lb, or 0.4 percent, at 85.650 cents ahead of the report.


Analysts predicted the news could push CME hog futures up 0.500 to 0.750 cent at Monday's opening.


As of Dec. 15, the number of confirmed cases with PEDv totaled 1,764, according to data from the USDA's National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Each case could represent hundreds to thousands of hogs.


In a conference call earlier this week, Smithfield Foods , the nation's biggest hog producer, said PEDv might result in a loss of 2 million to 3 million hogs, or a 2 to 3 percent decline in U.S. production in 2014.

Analysts and swine veterinarians have stressed that while the virus is fatal to young pigs, pork is safe to eat.


The government showed the U.S. breeding herd at 99 percent of a year earlier, or 5.757 million head, compared with average trade expectations for 101.0 percent, or 5.875 million. A year ago the breeding herd was 5.819 million head.


The difference between industry estimates and USDA's breeding herd number was "critical", Livestock Marketing Information Center director Jim Robb said.


"Down the road (that) certainly sets up for tighter hog production than what most analysts had been expecting," he said.


Another sign that PEDv is taking its toll on baby pigs is the slowdown in the upward trend in baby pigs per sow, analysts said.


The data on Friday showed producers had a record number of pigs per litter during the period at 10.16, up marginally compared with last autumn's record of 10.15. But, that is the smallest increase over the past two quarters.


"When pigs per litter is up only one tenth of 1 percent after averaging up 2 percent since 2003, that's quite a difference," said University of Missouri livestock economist Ron Plain.


USDA made significant revisions to past reports to account for larger-than-expected hog slaughter in recent months, he said.


The Dec. 1 supply of market-ready hogs was 99 percent of a year earlier at 60.183 million head. Analysts, on average, expected a 0.2 percent decline, or 60.435 million. Last autumn's market hog supply was 60.555 million.


"The overall numbers do not show the expansion that the industry has expected given the profitability of producers," said Robb.


(Additional reporting by Meredith Davis and P.J. Huffstutter; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Tim Dobbyn and Bob Burgdorfer)


Disinfectant Fails Against PEDv   

Source: American Association of Swine Veterinarians

National Hog Farmer

December 26, 2013


The results of a National Pork Board funded study indicates that Stalosan F, a disinfectant powder commonly used in the poultry industry, is not effective at inactivating porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in swine feces on metal surfaces. The review of the research was provided by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (


The study, conducted by Derald Holtkamp, DVM, at Iowa State University, was designed to replicate what is found in livestock trailers after fecal and other organic matter has been removed by scraping and sweeping, but not washed.


The hope was that the product might be efficacious at inactivating the virus in the presence of fecal material. These findings indicate that producers should not expect to kill PEDV with the use of Stalosan F disinfectant powder in a hog trailer that has not been properly washed. Thorough washing, disinfecting and drying of hog trailers between loads of pigs should be accomplished whenever possible.


The effectiveness of Stalosan F disinfectant in trailers that have been properly washed is unknown.


Full text:

Farm Bill Talks Expected to Resume      


Funding for Surveillance and Diagnostic Capabilities of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network(NAHLN) in the Mix


According to legislative counsel provided to AAVLD, currently there are two moving parts related to NAHLN funding that are of interest to AAVLD members.


The first is the Farm Bill.  Congress wasn't able to come to an agreement before the holiday break, but congressional representatives have been in constant contact and both sides of this debate want to get a farm bill approved and signed by the President.


AAVLD's current approach has been to ensure that the NAHLN language drafted and promoted in cooperation with AAVLD leadership is in the farm bill and will remain in the farm bill should the legislation come to pass.  Capitol Hill observers believe that, since Congress didn't approve a one-year extension, an agreement must be a lot closer than the general public perceives.


The other issue of importance to AAVLD right now is the level of FY 2014 appropriation for the NAHLN. We should know early next week what the current FADI appropriation level will be in FY 2014, and AAVLD expects that funding level to be either at $5.98 million (the current level) or at $7 million (a 15% increase).  


AAVLD has been reaching out to the same members of Congress and their staff who were crucial to restoring funding for FADI when that funding was eliminated a few years ago. The big concern is that if the Farm Bill passes, AAVLD would find itself in the position of pushing for two different funding accounts in the FY 2015 appropriations bills.  It's a good problem to have, but can cause confusion about the final funding levels and processes.  The AVMA has been a great partner with AAVLD on the issue of FADI funding for FY 2014.  


AAVLD leaders will again go to Capitol Hill the first week of March 2014 with the purpose of meeting with agency leaders and members of Congress regarding issues of critical importance to AAVLD members. 


Updated Accreditation FAQs Now Available  


AAVLD wants you to know there is a new version of the AAVLD Accreditation Committee Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) available on the AAVLD web site:


In order to access them you must log in to the AAVLD web page, go to Committees in the left side menu, then under Standing Committees, click on Accreditation, and under Communications, click on Accreditation Documents.  The third topic down is Frequently Asked Questions.  There you will find the most recent posted FAQ, as well as the archived FAQs.   


The updated FAQ has some fabulous information including:  

  • Document Control regarding signatures and test kit inserts;
  • Training and Competency involving the quality manager;  
  • Purchasing regarding labeling and expiration dates;
  • Preventive and Corrective actions and planned deviations; Records, hatch marks on forms and renaming of agents on reports;
  • Test Validation and kits; and Reporting and the listed Requirements.

What a fabulous source of information!  


The Accreditation Committee hopes this information will help to clarify questions you may have.  Questions are gathered from quality managers, from emails to the Accreditation Committee Chair, from emails to other Committee members or to the AAVLD Quality Assurance Committee Chair .... so keep them coming!


Microbiology Services Manager Position Open

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Department of Agriculture


Veterinary Laboratory Microbiology Services Manager


The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has an opening for a Veterinary Laboratory Microbiology Services Manager (salary range: $64,215 - $97,644) in the Veterinary Laboratories Division of the Bureau of Animal Health & Diagnostic Services located in Harrisburg, PA.

The Manger is responsible for managing a comprehensive program in diagnostic bacteriology, mycology and virology including leading and directing the microbiology laboratory and performing investigations of animal diseases.


Applicants must complete and submit a Civil Service application, letter of interest and resume no later than January 31st, 2014.  The Application, Required Qualifications and additional details regarding this position are available at (About PDA - Employment Opportunities).


Applications should be sent directly to:

             Human Resource Office

             PA Department of Agriculture

2301 North Cameron Street

Harrisburg, PA 17110

Questions regarding this position can be directed to Debbie Laughman at or 717-787-1065.


PA Department of Agriculture is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer supporting workforce diversity
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Jim Kistler
Executive Director
American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians