In this file:


·         United States Pork Experts On-Guard For African Swine Fever Threat 

·         UK: ASF risk level increased to Medium, suggesting incursion ‘likely’

·         ASF-positive food found discarded in Taiwan

·         Two more pork products brought to Taiwan test positive for ASF



United States Pork Experts On-Guard For African Swine Fever Threat


by Alison Durheim, KEYC News 12 Mankato (MN)

Jan 10, 2019


A virus specific to pigs is spreading across Eastern Europe, through large chunks of China and has confirmed cases in Russia as well.


Though there are no confirmed cases in the United States, the country is still taking border and biosecurity precautions.


 According to a monthly Global Disease Monitoring Report from the Swine Health Information Center, Taiwanese authorities claim that there are more cases of African Swine Fever in China than are being reported.


"As it's kind of spread around fairly gradual, but once you get it in a country it can move pretty quickly, especially in countries that don't have really good biosecurity procedures like we do here and that is something, unfortunately, that is lacking in China and that's probably why it's spreading even faster there," says Minnesota Pork Board CEO, David Preisler.


All hands are on deck worldwide to contain the virus and here in the U.S., to preserve North America's record of never having a confirmed case of the virus.


"Really engaging really hard with USDA, Customs and Border Control, Homeland Security, from a standpoint of making sure that we're hardening our borders as much as possible and that means inspecting flights that are coming over from other countries," says Preisler, "it means that we're also going to pay attention to anything that we import into this country that may end up on a farm whether it's feed, whether it's equipment, supplies, so that's really the game plan at this point."


Major countries like China can't be avoided completely, but proper caution can be taken.


"There are a few things that we actually feed pigs, especially vitamins, where the only source for that in the world is China and so one of the things that we're watching very carefully is working with feed companies, feed mills, to make sure that we're really watching the manufacturing of that in China, making sure it's being done in a real sound way," says Preisler...


more, including video report [2:22 min.]



ASF risk level increased to Medium, suggesting incursion ‘likely’


By Alistair Driver, Pig World (UK)

January 10, 2019


The Government has raised the risk level of African swine fever (ASF) entering the country from ‘low’ to ‘medium’ meaning an incursion is likely.


With a huge number of variables affecting the likelihood of a damaging incursion, it is urging businesses to take actions to reduce the risk.


In its latest assessment on the risk of the virus coming into the UK from Europe, Defra says the situation in the EU has deteriorated since June 2017 with several new areas in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Belgium reporting disease.


These ‘jumps’ (defined loosely as a new focus of infection at least 100km from the nearest wild boar case) are most likely to have been caused by humans. This includes the movement of infected or contaminated meat products, which are then left in areas where wild boar can access them and the introduction of the virus into domestic pig farms with low biosecurity.


Compounding the uncertainty is the fact that the origin of these products is often unknown and therefore the source of infection is often only a suspicion. The ASF virus circulating in the EU and East Europe is still represented by genotype II, with little strain variation.


It is a highly pathogenic virus in domestic pigs and the Eurasian wild boar, but the rate of spread...





ASF-positive food found discarded in Taiwan

Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture is tightening regulations on feeding waste food to pigs.


Compiled by Kevin Schulz, National Hog Farmer 

Jan 10, 2019


Mention of African swine fever has every hog producer on the edge of their seats, and readily implementing biosecurity measures to keep the virus from infecting their herds. But there are so many other ways the ASF and other foreign animal diseases can be transmitted, that biosecurity measures go beyond the farm.


In October, the so-called Beagle Brigade received positive press as agriculture specialists and a Beagle K-9 with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a cooked pig in checked luggage at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.


Pork and pork products from other continents are prohibited from entry into the U.S. to prevent the potential introduction of foreign animal diseases such as African swine fever, foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever and swine vesicular disease.


The importance of the work Beagle Brigade was further stressed as Taiwan continues the battle to keep ASF out of its country, especially with its close proximity to China, where the virus is spreading fast and furious.


Last week, Taiwan ups its efforts to keep ASF at bay after one ASF-positive hog carcass was discovered along the coast of Kinmen County.


An article issued this week by The Epoch Times says that 10 items of imported Chinese pork products have tested positive for ASF.


“Taiwan’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, an agency under the Council of Agriculture, reported that the 10 were out of a total 678 tested pork products originating from mainland China, according to a Jan. 6 article by Taiwan’s Central News Agency”


The Epoch Times article continues, “The Bureau pointed out that six of the 10 tested positive items were pork products retrieved from trash bins: three of which were all found at the Shuitou Pier in Kinmen, a group of islands governed by Taiwan that is offshore from the Taiwan main island; one at the Taichung International Airport; one at the Kaohsiung International Airport; and one at the Taoyuan International Airport. … The six items were likely thrown away by travelers before they passed through customs, as Taiwan currently has a penalty of 200,000 New Taiwan dollars ($6,490) for travelers who bring in pork products from areas affected by African swine fever.”


Huang Jin-cheng, deputy director of the Council of Agriculture, says that the 10 items originated from 10 different Chinese provinces and municipalities, including Fujian Province in southern China, Heilongjiang Province in the north, and Chongqing, a city in southwestern China.


Huang also points out...


more, including links



Two more pork products brought to Taiwan test positive for ASF


By Yang Shu-min and Flor Wang, Focus Taiwan News Channel



Taipei, Jan. 10 (CNA) Two more pork products brought by travelers tested positive for African swine fever (ASF) on Thursday, bringing the number of such cases to 12 in Taiwan, according to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ).


The two passengers, one Chinese and one Taiwanese national, were each penalized with a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,450), the BAPHIQ said.


The two passengers flew into Taiwan from China's Nanjing and Harbin cities, with the former discovered to have brought in ham and the latter red sausages upon arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Dec. 28.


Samples of their pork products were sent to the BAPHIQ for examination on Monday, and they tested positive for African swine fever, making them the 11th and 12th such cases in Taiwan since Oct. 31, 2018.


According to BAPHIQ statistics, 50 tickets for fines of NT$200,000, 89 for fines of NT$30,000 and 15 for fines of NT$10,000 have been issued to offenders who bring in meat products since Dec. 18.


Starting Dec. 18, fines...