Webinar – Foreign Animal Disease and Secure Pork Supply Plan: What You Need to Know

The National Pork Board and National Hog Farmer combined efforts to provide an update on African swine fever and other foreign animal diseases and what steps U.S. pig farmers should be taking to protect their farms. Watch the recorded webinar to get a preview of the new Secure Pork Supply software and real-world insights from a panel of experts on practical biosecurity solutions for your farm.

African Swine Fever: What Producers Need to Know

The Chinese government announced the nation’s first case of African swine fever (ASF) on Aug. 3 in a northeastern province, creating a global sensation in the pig world that could have far-reaching implications. The current outbreak has grown this month as China now has four confirmed cases of ASF (see map courtesy of Chris Rademacher, Iowa State University), which clearly shows how quickly the virus can travel—making preparations in the United States all the more critical to prevent it from reaching this country. The National Pork Board is collaborating with its industry partners and the USDA to help plan, prevent and protect the U.S. swine herd.

The recent case of African swine fever (ASF) in China is a stark reminder of the negative impact that a trade limiting foreign animal disease can have on pork producers. The outbreak in China has resulted in the implementation of quarantines, movement controls and mandatory culling of swine in affected areas in an effort to control the disease.

Studies led by Dr. Dermot Hayes, economist at Iowa State University, at the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (CARD FAPRI) have estimated that in the first year of an ASF outbreak in the United States revenue loss by commodity would be $8 billion for pork, $4 billion for corn and $1.5 billion for soybeans.

Keeping trade limiting foreign animal diseases (FADs) like ASF out of the U.S. is critical to pork producers along with taking steps necessary to elevate the level of FAD preparedness in the industry. The Pork Checkoff has multiple educational resources available to pork producers to help address these topics.

International travel and hosting of international visitors can pose a risk for the introduction of a FAD into the U.S. It is important for pork producers to understand the risks and ways to reduce risk to help protect the industry.

There are steps that pork producers can take to raise the level of foreign animal disease preparedness across the industry and that information can be found on the Checkoff’s FAD Preparation Checklist.

Early detection of trade limiting FADs of swine provides the best opportunity to contain an outbreak. Pork producers and their employees are the frontlines of defense. The posters in the FAD push packs provide barn level awareness that serve as a daily reminder of the importance of FAD awareness. The Center for Food Security & Public Health provides education specific to ASF that can be used for group training.

Key African Swine Fever Facts

U.S. pork is not affected by the ASF outbreaks in other countries and is safe to eat.

  • ASF does not affect humans and therefore is not a public health threat.
  • Pork products from animals with ASF are safe to consume.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has measures in place to prevent sick animals from entering the food supply.
  • As always, you should follow safe handling and cooking instructions to protect your family’s health.

African swine fever virus is a highly contagious viral disease impacting only pigs, not people—so it is not a public health threat or food safety concern.

  • ASF cannot be transmitted to humans through contact with pigs or pork.
  • Members of the pig family, including domestic 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.
  • Currently, there is no vaccine that protects against ASF.