Urgent action needed to curb the spread of African Swine Fever in the Americas


Food Safety News by Marler Clark

September 9, 2021


Since the current African Swine Fever (ASF) panzootic began in the Liaoning province of China in 2018, the United States and Canada have kept the pig virus out of North America. But, in July, USDA’s Foreign Animal Disease Diagnosis Laboratory confirmed ASF in pigs from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean region, only 700 miles from the United States.


There’s never been any finding of ASF in the United States or Canada, but its arrival in the Caribbean is a little too close for comfort. It’s spread around the world seems to involve making jumps to nearby countries. By 2019 it spread from China to Southeast Asia including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.  It has continued to spread ever since.


The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) is now focused on the “urgent action needed to curb the spread of African Swine Fever in the Americas.”  The Dominican Republic outbreak marks the first time in almost 40 years that the disease, which is deadly to pigs, has had any presence in the Western Hemisphere.


OIE has called on the United States and Canada “to strengthen their surveillance efforts...