Pork industry redoubles efforts against African swine fever

Discovery of ASF in Dominican Republican ramped up efforts to prevent it from entering U.S.


Roy Lee Lindsey, North Carolina Pork Council

via National Hog Farmer - Sep 03, 2021


The urgency to prepare for African swine fever (ASF) in this country, something the U.S. pork industry has been doing for three years now, kicked up a notch with the recent confirmation of the pig-only disease just 750 miles from U.S. shores.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture in late July confirmed the first case of the highly contagious and highly transmissible disease – which is no threat to human health or food safety – in the Western Hemisphere in more than 40 years with its detection in the Dominican Republic.


The U.S. pork industry and several federal agencies have been preparing for ASF since 2018, when the disease hit China. With it now at our doorstep, we’re redoubling our efforts.


Among those efforts, the pork industry is working with USDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to help stop the spread of ASF from the Dominican Republic to neighboring islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


The Agriculture Department is providing ASF testing support to the Dominican Republic, setting up laboratory equipment, training laboratory personnel, providing personal protective equipment and offering aid on response and mitigation measures. It is also giving surveillance and testing assistance to Haiti, which borders the Dominican Republic.


To contain the outbreak to the Dominican Republic...