The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center says pork producers are the last line of defence against the spread of African Swine Fever. When it comes to the risks posed by foreign animal disease, particularly African Swine fever, U.S. priorities have centered around prevention, preparedness and response.
Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center and a member of the Swine Innovation Porc Coordinated African Swine Fever Research Working Group, says USDA and Customs and Border Protection have been front and center on the line to keep ASF out of the country but, beyond that, it’s up to producers.
For producers the issue is to make sure there is no virus that gets through that line at the border that could get onto their farm. If ASF does happen to get through the USDA and Customs and Border Protection fence around the country, it isn’t going to make an infection unless it gets into a pig.
For example, we haven’t had Foot and Mouth Disease since 1929 in the United States. The chances are that FMD has at some point gotten into the United States but hasn’t caused the infection. That’s all about biosecurity and producers are the last brick in the wall to keep that infection out of North America.
For example, it’s not just having international visitors on your farm but thinking about all of the types of different international contacts that your workers may have, that your suppliers or your service people may have and all of the biosecurity issues around those contacts and preventing anything that may be sourced through those contacts getting into the pigs.
~ Dr. Paul Sundberg, Swine Health Information Center
Dr. Sundberg encourages producers to have those discussion with their veterinarians and their feed suppliers.