U.S. Takes Steps to Protect Pork Exports from Mainland United States
Dr. Paul Sundberg - Swine Health Information Center
Farmscape for September 9, 2021
The United States is asking the OIE to include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in a protection zone in order to protect the continuity of pork exports from the United States mainland.
African Swine Fever has now been identified in 25 of the 39 provinces in the Dominican Republic, increasing the risk of its spread around the Caribbean.
Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center, says USDA-APHIS has started the process for getting OIE recognition to protect U.S. pork export continuity.
Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
The U.S. is preparing a packet of information for what is called a protection zone in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to be submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health based in Paris.
The protection zone is a process recognised by OIE, that a country can identify a region or an area either within it or close to it that is at heightened risk of a disease outbreak.
It's not positive yet and it hopefully will remain negative but it is at heightened risk of being an outbreak.
Once we get that package to OIE, they will be able to post it and let people know that it has been submitted and the U.S. can work with other countries to make sure that they recognise that we are doing everything possible to protect Puerto Rico but should it happen that there's a break there, that we have the protocols in place to make sure that that virus doesn't move beyond Puerto Rico to mainland U.S.
That's a very important piece of the overall picture of ASF in the Caribbean, to help protect the U.S. in their global trade of pork and pork products.