In September, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services National Training and Exercise Program is sponsoring a series of four exercises for the top 14 swine producing states to further their capacity to effectively respond to and mitigate an outbreak of African swine fever. Three exercises in this series have already been completed: ASF Response Policy Workshop, November 2018; ASF Plan Review and Revision Workshop, February 2019; and an ASF Response Tabletop Exercise, April 2019. These three exercises have set the stage for the fourth exercise activity, a series of functional exercises and drills to be conducted between Sept. 23 and Sept. 26, 2019.
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians encourage AASV members to be involved in this full functional exercise. To participate and to learn more about your state's participation in preparation for and during the exercise, contact your State Animal Health Official or your state pork produces association.
The 14 states participating in the exercise are
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
The September exercises are designed to be unique activities targeting key areas of ASF response and mitigation. Each of the 14 states will participate from their departmental operations centers, or equivalent; they will initiate the appropriate scale of the Incident Command System, as designated in their response plans, and they will deploy field personnel as needed. The general focus of each day's play is:
- Day 1, Sept. 23 - Conducting a foreign animal disease investigation and subsequent coordination and engagement of the National Veterinary Services Laboratory's Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and the appropriate laboratories in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
- Day 2, Sept. 24 - Responding to and supporting a state, regional or national movement standstill depending upon swine populations infected.
- Day 3, Sept. 25 - Implementing the planning and resource coordination associated with depopulating and disposing of infected and exposed swine.
- Day 4, Sept. 26 - Implementing a system to allow continuity of business for non-infected operations within a control area.