AgriTalk: Cooperation Critical to Keep African Swine Fever Out
Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork
March 13, 2019
Cooperation between the U.S., Canada and Mexico to keep African swine fever (ASF) out of North American is critical, said Gordon Spronk, DVM, of Pipestone Veterinary Services. On Tuesday, Spronk told AgriTalk host Chip Flory that keeping ASF out is vitally important for the entire U.S. agriculture industry.
“The economic hit the U.S. would take if ASF hits (or any foreign animal disease) will cost us billions,” Spronk said. “A third of our pork leaves ours borders right now. So that means that one-third of our production would be exiting the business which means one-third less corn demand, one-third less soybean demand, one-third less DDDG demand, the entire barnyard would be impacted.”
ASF is not a new virus, it’s been around for nearly 100 years. It was first reported in Africa in the 1920s. However, when it entered the world’s largest hog herd in the world’s largest pork-consuming country last August, the game changed, Spronk said.
ASF was a highly discussed topic at last week’s National Pork Industry Forum and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians annual meeting held in Orlando earlier this week.
Leadership at the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council, along with veterinarians, USDA staff and ag business leaders, have developed a plan which includes early identification and procedures, including the secure pork supply plan.
“We would immediately implement a plan to return back to the status that's so important to us – a negative status – because that's so important for international trade,” Spronk said...
more, including audio [10:59 min.]