USDA STEPS UP FIGHT AGAINST THREAT OF AFRICAN SWINE FEVER
By Betsy Freese
The highly contagious and deadly African swine fever (ASF) that is spreading throughout China is becoming more of a concern every day for U.S. officials. Last week, 1 million pounds of pork smuggled from China into a New Jersey port was sniffed out by USDA-trained detector dogs.
See my on-the-ground report from China, Why You Can't Believe What China Says About African Swine Fever.
Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released PDFs of information about the risk pathways, biosecurity on farms, signs and symptoms of the disease, and traveler tips. For more information, visit www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/swine/asf.
Here are four infographics on the following topics:
African Swine Fever Risk Pathways (PDF, 2.4 MB)
Biosecurity (PDF, 312 KB)
Signs and Symptoms of African Swine Fever (PDF, 209 KB)
Traveler Tips (PDF, 389 KB)
The USDA says it is monitoring the recent outbreaks of ASF in Asia and Europe, and has proactively taken steps to increase safeguarding efforts to keep the disease out of the U.S., including:
Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at ports of entry, paying particular attention to cargo, passengers, and products arriving from China and other ASF-affected countries;
Increasing detector dog teams with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to sniff out illegal products at key U.S. commercial sea and airports, including Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson and Chicago’s O’Hare airports.
Collaborating with states, industry, and producers to ensure everyone follows strict on-farm biosecurity protocols and best practices (including for garbage feeding in states where that is allowed).
Restricting imports of pork and pork products from affected countries.
Coordinating closely on response plans with the U.S. pork industry, producers, and states to be ready should a detection ever occur in the United States.
Expanding the testing capabilities and testing capacity of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.