Concerns continue about ASF entering the US

The US swine industry has always been concerned for decades about foreign animal diseases entering the US.


by Sarah Mikesell, The Pig Site

7 January 2020


The US swine industry has been concerned for decades about foreign animal diseases entering the US – from foot-and-mouth disease to the more urgent fears of African swine fever (ASF). Diagnostics are key to identify the virus early.


“We've been worried about these foreign animal diseases for years, and African swine fever (ASF) is just the icing on the cake,” Said Dr. Patrick Webb, Director of Swine Health Programs with the National Pork Board. “From a regulatory standpoint, USDA plays a critical role when a country says, “Yes, we have African swine fever.” A lot of rules go into place that help prevent the potential entry of that virus into the United States.”


What’s happening in China has changed the rules and heightened ASF’s awareness. Once a country is infected, the change in regulatory status is important. This includes rules to follow at the border, especially people travelling from infected countries, like China, into the US.


“You have to be able to target those folks and make sure that they're not bringing anything into the country that would be related to pigs, meat and meat products that potentially could be harbouring the virus,” he explained. “There's a lot of work that goes on with Customs and Border Protection and USDA Plant Protection Quarantine to make sure that those items don't make it through. USDA’s Beagle Brigade is a great tool for doing that as well. Certainly, once a country announces they have ASF, a lot of things go into place to help mitigate risk.”


The role of diagnostics in ASF ...


more, including links, video report [5:31 min.]