In this file:


·         AU: ASF and FMD found in pork products at border seizure

·         US: Rescued dogs pose ASF risk with gap USDA should fill

·         ASF ravages northern China’s pig herd



ASF and FMD found in pork products at border seizure


Source: Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (AU)

via Beef Central (AU) - April 7, 2021


AFRICAN swine fever (ASF) and foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus fragments have again been detected in pork products seized at Australia’s international mail centres, highlighting the significant risk these products pose for the nation. These findings do not change Australia’s FMD or ASF-free status.


Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said FMD was considered the biggest animal disease threat to Australia’s agriculture.


“An outbreak of FMD in Australia would lead to the closure of major livestock, beef, lamb, dairy and pork export markets with serious economic and social effects in other sectors, including tourism,” Minister Littleproud said.


“Studies have estimated a large multi-state outbreak of FMD in Australia could result in economic losses of $ 50 billion dollars over 10 years and an outbreak of ASF could cost Australia $ 1.5 to 2.03 billion dollars over 5 years.


“Pork products were seized at international mail centres in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne over 2 two-week periods over recent holidays.


‘Overall, 24 per cent of samples tested positive for ASF virus fragments and 1 per cent tested positive for FMD virus fragments.


“In the first period (December 2020), 19 of 94 pork samples (20 per cent) tested positive for ASF virus fragments and none tested positive for FMD virus fragments.


“In the second period (January-February 2020) 29 of 104 pork samples (28 per cent) tested positive for ASF virus fragments and 2 of 104 pork samples (2 per cent) tested positive for FMD virus fragments.


“We are ready to respond should ASF or FMD ever be detected here, including recently running simulation exercises for the Australian pork industry.


“The Australian Government has stepped up its biosecurity efforts through our $66.6 million ASF package, which has ramped up interventions at the border, targeted operations to detect fraudulently labelled imported product and testing more products.


“We have also increased penalties for travellers who do not declare high risk goods at the border and Australian Border Force officials can cancel visas and refuse entry to Australia for serious biosecurity breaches.


“While these results do not confirm live infectious virus is present, it is a reminder that we need everyone to be more vigilant. It is more important than ever that people do the right thing and don’t bring, mail or import illegal pork or animal products into Australia.


“These findings highlight the need for Australia’s livestock industries to maintain high biosecurity standards. Practices such as illegal swill feeding (feeding food scraps to pigs) have the potential to bring these diseases into their farms.”


People visiting or returning to Australia need to pay attention to biosecurity requirements. Before you travel, check what can and cannot be brought into Australia.


If you are unsure about the biosecurity status of goods that you have brought into Australia or received in the mail, please report a biosecurity concern by calling our See. Secure. Report. hotline on 1800 798 636 or completing our online reporting form.


Additional points:





Rescued dogs pose ASF risk with gap USDA should fill

Potential for bedding, food, crates, or contamination of foreign rescue dogs’ coats to serve as disease carriers.


By Jen Kendrick, North Carolina Pork Council

via National Hog Farmer - Apr 06, 2021


What started out as a feel-good story about rescue dogs from China turned into something much more serious, something that could have significant implications for U.S. livestock and agriculture.


In July 2019, a local news segment reported on an organization welcoming a group of dogs that had just arrived from China, rescued from an uncertain fate at a wet market. The footage showed the dogs receiving a hero’s welcome at a local veterinary clinic where they would be boarded until placed into foster homes. The anchors back in the studio gushed about how lucky the dogs were.


While happy for the dogs, my North Carolina Pork Council colleagues and I didn’t understand why the state veterinarian would allow dogs from China—amid a raging African swine fever outbreak – into our hog-heavy state.


Our staff quickly reached out to North Carolina State Veterinarian Dr. Doug Meckes for more information, but he wasn’t aware of any dogs arriving from China. It turns out the dogs flew into the Atlanta airport and were driven to North Carolina, so their health certificates were presented to customs agents in Georgia. Additionally, it was discovered...


Multiple agencies, no one claiming jurisdiction ...





ASF ravages northern China’s pig herd

Industry sources and analysts from China say that a wave of African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks have killed at least 20% of northern China’s breeding herd.


The Pig Site

7 April 2021


Analysis in Reuters explains that this exceeds expected losses and is renewing fears about ASF’s potential impact on the south of the country.


It is likely that the deadly pig disease made a comeback in the first quarter of 2021 after a year of declining outbreaks. The presence of ASF is a significant setback for China’s efforts to rebuild its pig herds after previous outbreaks of ASF in 2018 wiped out 50% of the country’s pigs.


The impact of ASF had slowed by late 2019 as the pig population declined. Large pig producers also learned to minimize the spread of the virus by removing infected pigs from herds early, a process the industry calls “tooth extraction”.


But an exceptionally cold winter, a higher density of pigs following a year of restocking, and new strains of swine fever triggered a fresh wave of outbreaks across the northeast, northern China and Henan province, the country’s third-biggest hog producing province.


“At least 20% of the herd was affected, maybe even 25%” in the northern and northeastern Chinese provinces because of outbreaks during the first quarter, said Jan Cortenbach, chief technical officer at feed maker Wellhope-De Heus Animal Nutrition...