African swine fever practice that’s hopefully unnecessary

Exercises scheduled for Sept 23-26 will allow animal health officials to practice response plans for an ASF outbreak in the United States.


Kevin Schulz, National Hog Farmer 

Sep 10, 2019


Insurance is pretty much a necessity in one’s life. We buy home, auto and health insurance in the hopes of never having to use it. We buy life insurance to hopefully leave something for those we will leave behind when we meet our demise.


Though we hope we never have a need for insurance, we still pay the regular premiums just in case that need arises and will aid in the recovery from a calamity.


Hog producers have long known the importance of practicing top biosecurity measures, implementing such procedures that will prevent our herds from becoming infected with the virus du jour.


Ever since African swine fever was first reported in China just over a year ago, the U.S. pork industry has been put on high alert learning how to prevent ASF from getting here as well as preparing for the possibility that it does reach our shores.


On that note, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services National Training and Exercise Program is sponsoring a series of exercises in a couple weeks for the top 14 swine producing states to further their capacity to effectively respond to and mitigate an ASF outbreak.


These exercises are scheduled for Sept 23-26, and will allow animal health officials, such as the state veterinarian’s office, to run a practice of their response plans for an ASF outbreak in the United States. These exercises are designed to be unique activities targeting key areas of ASF response and mitigation. Each of the 14 states will participate from their departmental operations centers, or equivalent; they will initiate the appropriate scale of the Incident Command System, as designated in their response plans, and they will deploy field personnel as needed.


Though these exercises are intended for each state’s animal health officials, anyone interested is welcomed to participate in the four specific exercises:


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