The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Wednesday that the Dominican Republic (DR) has confirmed cases of African swine fever (ASF). The cases were confirmed as part of a cooperative surveillance program between the United States and the DR. The United States remains free of ASF – an animal disease affecting only pigs with no human health implications – and imports no pork, animal feed or other pork production-related products from the Dominican Republic.
“The United States has significantly bolstered biosecurity to protect the U.S. swine herd since ASF broke in China nearly three years ago and began spreading to other parts of the world,” said Liz Wagstrom, chief veterinarian with the National Pork Producers Council. “We are thankful for steps taken by the USDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including strengthened border inspection and the implementation of an active surveillance program designed to quickly detect and eradicate ASF. These measures are particularly important now that ASF has been detected in the Western hemisphere for the first time in approximately 40 years.”
Dr. Wagstrom added, “We thank the USDA and CBP for the additional measures they are taking to prevent the spread of ASF to the United States.”
NPPC noted the following measures for U.S. pork producers:
- Use caution when hosting on-farm visitors from an ASF-positive region of the world; follow downtime recommendations from USDA’s Plum Island Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
- Review your biosecurity protocols to ensure consistent practice of appropriate safeguards.
- Fill out the Foreign Animal Disease Preparation Checklist found here and enroll in the Secure Pork Supply program.
- Visit with your feed suppliers to discuss the origin of the feed ingredients they are using in your diets.
Vacation and other travelers to the Dominican Republic should know that it is illegal to transport specialty meat products or other agriculture products from the DR to the United States.
For additional information on ASF biosecurity, please visit www.nppc.org/asf.
Source: National Pork Producers Council news release