Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture instituted special exhibition requirements, in light of the ongoing rapid spread of African swine fever across Asia and parts of Europe and Africa. Now some fairs have canceled their swine shows entirely.
On May 31, Kevin Brightbill, Pennsylvania state veterinarian, issued a letter to fair board members, 4-H leaders and FFA advisers with the new swine exhibition requirements. Beginning June 1, no swine species shall be exhibited in Pennsylvania unless each animal:
- Is accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection issued within 30 days of the fair.
- Is permanently identified by an official ear tag and the number is recorded on the CVI.
- Has been visually inspected for signs of disease immediately prior to unloading at the exhibition by an accredited veterinarian.
All market swine exhibited shall move directly to slaughter following the exhibition and may not be diverted to premises other than a recognized slaughter establishment or slaughter market.
ASF cannot be transmitted to humans through contact with pigs or pork, and only affects members of the pig family. ASF is transmitted to pigs through direct contact with infected pigs, their waste, blood, contaminated clothing, feed, equipment and vehicles, and in some cases, some tick species.