African Swine Fever: Trust Your Instinct, Be Prepared


Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork

June 22, 2020


One of the most important resources you have is your instinct – especially when it comes to the health and well-being of your pigs. Following your instinct does more than protect your pigs, it protects the entire industry.


“As the eyes and the ears of the pork industry, if you think you may have something going on at your farm – even if it’s just a little tingling on the back of your neck that says, ‘Hey, maybe we need to get the state involved,’ – do it,” says Patrick Webb, DVM, director of swine health programs at the National Pork Board.


African Swine Fever and COVID-19


In order to keep foreign animal diseases like African swine fever (ASF), a deadly virus of pigs that has no cure, out of the U.S., Webb says producers need to stay vigilant as the industry is constantly at risk for the introduction of foreign animal diseases.


Because ASF continues to explode throughout parts of the world, the U.S. continues to be at more risk for getting the virus here, either accidentally or intentionally, he adds. Just as other countries have to learn to live with the virus, the U.S. will have to learn to live with that risk at a higher level than ever before.


Later this year, the National Pork Board will release another tool in its arsenal to keep ASF out. AgView, a database and dashboard technology, will help get critical information into the hands of key decisionmakers like state animal health officials in the unlikely event of a foreign animal disease outbreak.


“What we're seeing with COVID-19 is a stark reminder of the importance of good information and data because a lot of choices get made that affect a lot of lives. It’s shown us the serious ramifications that occur when you stop movements and don't allow animals to move through the production chain,” Webb says. “AgView can provide data and information for state vets to make risk-based assessments that could help protect business continuity for producers, as well as help get outbreaks contained and eradicated quicker.”


Advantages of AgView ...


A Program to Help Producers ...