National Pork Board (NPB) is collaborating with multiple governments and industry partners to protect the U.S. from foreign animal diseases (FADs), including African swine fever (ASF).
Here is what U.S. pork producers can do to protect their pig herds and maintain continuity of business for the pork industry.
1. Monitor For Signs of ASF in Pigs
Signs and symptoms include:
- High fever
- Decreased appetite and weakness
- Red, blotch skin or skin lesions
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Coughing and difficulty breathing
To help ensure none of these signs are overlooked, NPB has developed FAD barn posters and fact sheets in English or Spanish. Copies of the posters are available to download at no cost to producers on the Pork Store.
Because of the heightened risk of ASF producers should strongly consider diagnostic tests to determine FAD status when pigs show decreased feed consumption. Reports from China indicate pigs may be ASF-positive with no clinical signs.
2. Report Signs of an FAD on Your Farm
Immediately report animals with any sign of an FAD, including ASF, signs to your herd veterinarian or to your state or federal animal health officials. You also may call USDA’s toll-free number at (866) 536-7593 for appropriate testing and investigation. Timeliness is essential for early detection and preventing the spread of ASF, so if you suspect you may have an FAD such as ASF, contact the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.
3. Participate in Your State’s Secure Pork Supply Program
Secure Pork Supply (SPS) provides a workable business continuity plan for sites under movement restriction, but not infected with a FAD such as ASF. A central component of SPS is the development of a site-specific enhanced biosecurity plan to prevent FADs from entering your farm. SPS also includes traceability and surveillance measures to prepare for an FAD outbreak.
4. Enhance On-farm Biosecurity Practices
Producers should implement enhanced biosecurity measures by working with your veterinarian. This is especially important since the ASF virus can easily travel on shoes and clothing. A part of your biosecurity plan should include limiting foreign visitors on farms.
5. Create an AgView Account
AgView is the pork industry’s free, opt-in technology from NPB that promotes business continuity for America’s pig farmers. It uniquely makes disease traceback and pig movement data available to the USDA and state animal health officials on day one of an FAD.
ASF Confirmed in Dominican Republic
USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the first cases of African swine fever (ASF) in the Dominican Republic on July 28, 2021. The USDA identified the positive ASF cases through a cooperative surveillance program with the Caribbean nation.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is increasing inspections of flights from the Dominican Republic to ensure travelers do not bring prohibited products to the United States. CBP is making sure garbage from these airplanes is properly disposed of to prevent the transmission of ASF.
Live pigs and pork products from the Dominican Republic have long been prohibited from entering the U.S. due to the country’s previous foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreaks. The nation produces nearly 1.2 million hogs a year.