African Swine Fever
Update Report: African Swine Fever
Despite the Chinese government’s control efforts, the spread of African swine fever (ASF) continues in China. The official reports from the World Health Organization (OIE) now say there have been more than 80 cases confirmed in 17 provinces, including one in the far south of the country. Despite this geographic advance, some pig movement has been allowed to help with China’s domestic demand for pork.
In Europe, ASF continues its slow spread primarily via feral pig populations. The virus remains very limited in Belgium, but other nations have wider infections, including Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, the Baltics, Bulgaria and points east.
Immediate pork producer actions can include:
- Review your biosecurity protocols with your veterinarian and commit to their implementation every day.
- Prepare your farm for enrollment in the Secure Pork Supply. Resources and instructions can be found at www.SecurePork.org
- Fill out a FAD Preparation Checklist for your farm. It can be found at www.pork.org/fad
- Visit with your feed supplier about the ingredients used in you diets. A list of suggested topics for discussion with feed or feed ingredient suppliers will be forthcoming.
- With the best information currently available, and until we learn more, extreme caution should be taken when considering hosting someone on US farms from an ASF, or another FAD, positive region of the world. If it is needed, the USDA Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory on Plum Island requires a 5-day downtime for anyone planning to have contact with susceptible species after working with diseases and animals. Reuter article.
Pork is safe to eat. U.S. pigs are not affected by the ASF outbreaks in other countries, to date.
- ASF does not affect humans and therefore is not a public health threat.
- Pork products from animals with ASF are safe to consume.
- As usual, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has measures in place to prevent sick animals from entering the food supply, including if ASF is detected in the U.S.
- As always, you should always follow safe handling and cooking instructions to protect your family's health.
African swine fever is a highly infectious viral disease impacting only pigs, not people --- so it is not a public health threat nor a food-safety concern.
- ASF cannot be transmitted to humans through contact with pigs or pork.
- Members of the pig family, including commercial pigs and wild pigs, are the only animals susceptible to the ASF virus.
- ASF can be transmitted to pigs through feeding of uncooked garbage containing contaminated pork products. The Swine Health Protection Act regulates the feeding of food waste containing any meat products to swine, ensuring that all food waste fed to swine is properly treated to kill any disease organisms.
- ASF is easily transmitted to other pigs through direct contact with infected pigs or their waste, contaminated clothing, feed, equipment and vehicles, and in some cases, by blood-sucking insects, including some tick species.
The USDA does not allow importation of swine or fresh pork products into the U.S. from countries or regions that are reported positive for the ASF virus.
- Restrictions are based on APHIS-recognized animal health status of the region and are enforced by regulations.
- A region can be (a) a national entity (country); (b) part of a national entity (zone, county, province, state, etc.); (c) parts of several national entities combined into an area; or (d) a group of national entities (countries) combined into a single area.
- Proof of disease control and subsequent regionalization is the responsibility of the regulatory authority of the exporting country.