Midwest Re search Swine has been certified through the PQA PLUS program sponsored by the National Pork Producers. This program was developed to ensure that the U.S. pork producer is maintaining its food safety tradition to ensure that U.S. pork products continue to be recognized domestically and internationally as the highest quality and safest available, it also provides information to ensure producers can measure, track and continuously improve animal wellbeing. With PQA Plus, pork producers have another tool to demonstrate that they are socially responsible.
Committed to producing research swine of the highest quality, Midwest Research Swine follows the most stringent guidelines set in place by the U.S.D.A., the F.D.A. and their clients in order to offer pigs from High Health Status Herds™. This commitment to quality starts with conception of the pig fetus and includes the feed they eat, the facilities they are housed in, the staff that take care of them and the records that document the adherence to these guidelines. Assuring the quality of the biomedical swine used in medical research applications such as porcine xenotransplantation, xenograft, and regenerative tissue and cell therapy assists in producing accurate research results.
The herd-producing animals that are the source of research pigs for Midwest Research Swine are classified as a High Health Status Herd™, which is accomplished by various means of biosecurity. These practices include a combination of physical and biological barriers that restrict the transmission of infectious organisms and allow the production of disease free pigs.
High Health Status Herds are those managed for reproductive and weight-gain efficiencies with a minimum of medication. To achieve this, pigs are protected by a series of biosecurity measures, the collective impact of which is to reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases without compromising the animals’ developmental vigor (thriftiness). The strategy under which Midwest Research Swine’s pigs are raised and managed exceeds state and federal standards and regulations.
Environment / Risk Mitigation
Because pigs are an important economic animal and because the presence of infectious diseases and other environmental elements is detrimental to reproductive and weight-gain efficiency, herd managers and veterinarians have worked together to devise sophisticated management practices concerning the environment of the facilities where research pigs are produced. Midwest Research Swine’s animals are raised inside environmentally-controlled facilities in four bio-secure areas in Minnesota. Critical disaster recovery plans have been developed to minimize or control any damage or infiltration that would occur during a disaster event.
The pigs offered come exclusively from closed herds providing maximum biosecurity protection. The genetic makeup of the herd is controlled from conception. Careful selection of breeding sows and boar semen used in artificial insemination produce pigs exemplary for use in biomedical research in stem cell therapy and cell regeneration.
Our herds are managed to GMP guidelines with a controlled documentation system. This system includes the traceability of the pig, feed, environmental conditions and critical data to meet the animal donor requirements of the FDA, EN ISO-22442-2007 and Pacific Rim requirements.
Midwest Research Swine facilities and herds are audited to provide a yearly report card of quality assurance and biosecurity. We provide open access to all quality information and documentation to audit the quality of the feed, environment, genetics and other all components that make our High Health Status Herds. Our extensive documentation provides complete traceability of animals, their organs and tissue offered. Client audits and assessments are arranged and completed as necessary to provide critical feedback for their programs.
Verification of herd-health status is accomplished through an integrated program of testing for quality management.
On-site QA/QC staff assist clients in product specification development, tissue travelers, and record of retention and play a large part in maintaining the herd health of a unit. On-staff veterinarian monitors herd health and provides health management plans for the herd.