In this file:


·         ASF in the Americas is no science fiction at all

·         Concerns continue about ASF entering the US

·         China Says Rush to Boost Pork Supplies Raises Risk of Outbreaks




ASF in the Americas is no science fiction at all - Part 1


Vincent ter Beek, Pig Progress

Jan 8, 2020    


Provided that North and South America stay free of African Swine Fever, both continents could be having some profitable years. Very few remember that in the 1970s, the virus was already present there – leading to the culling of 1.2 million pigs at least. Pig Progress delved into the history books to learn more.


Dead pigs in a ditch, wood and tyres amongst them, and men around them ready to cremate it all. The image below could be a scene from Eastern Europe or Asia, in an attempt to limit the effects of a recent African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. The black and white of the picture, however, gives it away. This is not 2020 – this was more than 35 years ago. And it’s certainly not ‘East’. The picture is hanging in the Museum of the Revolution in Havana, Cuba.


In the 1970s and early 1980s, long before the current waves troubling Europe and Asia, and at a time when the virus was present in Africa and the Iberian peninsula, in a total of 4 countries in the Americas were confronted with ASF too: apart from Cuba (2x), these were the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Brazil. The result of Pig Progress' history dive was as follows:


3 conclusions jump out ... 


Cuba, 1971: Local depopulation ...


more, including table



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.]



China Says Rush to Boost Pork Supplies Raises Risk of Outbreaks


Bloomberg News

January 7, 2020


China’s race to boost pork supplies by increasing hog breeding has raised the risks of worsening the swine fever crisis, the government said.


The African swine fever situation “is still severe and complex,” Vice Agriculture Minister Yu Kangzhen said during a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday. “The risk of outbreaks will rise with the rapid increase in the number of live hogs.”


The rare show of candor by the Chinese government on a disease that’s roiled the industry follows months of comments tamping down speculation that the situation was out of control. It also affirms concerns that restocking herds when the disease is endemic could further delay a recovery...