Following last week's bust when USDA-trained detector dogs sniffed out roughly 1 million pounds of pork smuggled from China -- a country dealing with African swine fever in every significant pork production province -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is sharing information about the importance of keeping ASF out of the United States.
To help people learn more about this disease, as well as the steps that can be taken to help protect U.S. pigs, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has updated its web content with additional information and links to partners’ resources. This information is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/swine/asf.
Additionally, USDA is releasing four infographics on the following topics:
- African Swine Fever Risk Pathways
- Signs and Symptoms of African Swine Fever
- Traveler Tips
USDA is monitoring the recent outbreaks of ASF is Asia and Europe, and has proactively taken steps to increase our safeguarding efforts to keep the disease out of the United States. These steps include:
- Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at ports of entry, paying particular attention to cargo, passengers and products arriving from China and other ASF affected countries.
- Increasing detector dog teams with CBP to sniff out illegal products at key U.S. commercial sea and airports (last week four new beagles, Chipper, Marlee, Chaze and Cardie, completed training and were placed at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson and Chicago's O'Hare airports).
- Collaborating with states, industry and producers to ensure everyone follows strict on-farm biosecurity protocols and best practices (including for garbage feeding in states where that is allowed).
- Restricting imports of pork and pork products from affected countries.
- Coordinating closely on response plans with the U.S. pork industry, producers and states to be ready should a detection ever occur in the United States.
- Expanding the testing capabilities and testing capacity of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
USDA is committed to working with the swine industry, producers, other government agencies and neighboring countries to prevent the spread of ASF. USDA tracks animal disease outbreaks around the world and remains on high alert to protect farmers, consumers and natural resources from ASF or any foreign animal disease.