National Pork Board on African Swine Fever
As the COVID-19 pandemic captures the globes attention, pork leaders remind the industry not to forget about another viral threat.
National Pork Board’s senior VP, Dr. David Pyburn states, “As we have worked on COVID-19, ASF has continued to expand its territory globally. About five, six, months ago, it moved into Greece. Still, just in one large farm, it looks like, in Greece as they continue to do their surveillance. So, there’s a country that may get it under control.”
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, ASF is now in 50 countries. Dr. Pyburn adds, “We also saw a couple months ago it moved into India as well... In the countries of the Philippines, China, Vietnam, those Asian countries, we continue to see it expanding its territory within those countries and continues to affect more herds... even in that Eastern European area and in Poland as well, we’ve seen continued expansion of the area that the virus infects pigs.”
As outbreaks spread, the U.S. pork industry focuses on prevention, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are working to intercept contaminated products. “We’ve had research in the works, especially looking at how it moves on people, how it moves in products and especially how it can potentially move in feedstuffs. We continue to talk with Customs and Border Protection here... and making sure that they are stopping any risk material and keeping any risk material from coming into the country,” according to Dr. Pyburn.
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