African Swine Fever

Update Report: African Swine Fever 

Despite public and private efforts to control African swine fever (ASF) in China, most of the country is now positive for the disease that has reportedly killed as many as 1 million pigs. As of Feb. 13, there are 25 distinct geographic areas of China that have tested positive for the ASF virus. According to reports, supplies of pork to China’s big cities have been disrupted while prices have collapsed in areas with an oversupply of pigs from farmers who are barred from shipping to other provinces.

As of February 28, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture said ASF had been detected in 96 households/farms, across 33 villages, 20 communes, 13 districts of six provinces and cities.

 

The Top 5 Things You Should Know

  1. U.S. pork is safe.
  2. U.S. pork is not affected by the ASF outbreaks in other countries.
  3. ASF does not affect humans and is not a public health threat.
  4. Sick animals do not enter the food supply in the U.S.
  5. Countries currently dealing with ASF are working to reduce herd sizes of both commercial and feral swine. Even with this precaution, you should know that pork products from animals with ASF is safe for humans to consume.

 

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 your 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. 
     

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.

 

Key Facts about ASF

 Foreign Animal Disease Prep Checklist