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African Swine Fever Still a Threat

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African Swine Fever is still active in China, Germany and Romania. National Pork Board Director of Swine Health Dr. Lisa Becton says this virus remains a significant threat. Researchers are still learning about this disease.

“It’s a very complex virus which makes it hard to just create a quick vaccine. But there’s a lot of people including folks from the United States with the United States Department of Agriculture out at Plum Island that are using some different gene technologies to create a candidate for vaccine.”

Developing a vaccine that can cross-protect against all strains of the virus is very difficult.

“Recent candidates have shown the ability to reduce what is a big concern, that virus spread. And so, while they’re still candidates, there’s a lot of very good promise in some of the different types and technologies that are being developed today.”

The Pork Checkoff has ongoing information posted at pork.org. Becton says there is one overriding priority.

“We’re continuing at pork checkoff to really focus on prevention and preparedness for ASF. We really would rather not need a vaccine because we’d like to prevent it from coming here all together, but we will be focused on it, just like we have this year into 2021 and want producers to know that there still will be a lot of work to trying to prevent any introduction of foreign animal diseases, with African swine fever included.”

For more information, producers can contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center. Go to pork.org or call 800-456-PORK.