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African swine fever preparedness and preparation

National Pork Board Pigs in a finishing barn
Establishing a Secure Pork Supply Plan for each farm site location recommended as part of preparedness.

African swine fever is the most important disease of pigs worldwide. The virus first originated in Africa, and largely remained there until 2007, when the virus made an incursion in Europe. In 2018, the virus was found in China and has had a devastating impact to the world’s leading pork producing country. The last time the disease was found in the Western Hemisphere was almost 40 years ago. However, in July, ASF made its way back to the Dominican Republic and, more recently, was diagnosed in Haiti. Due to the finding of the virus in the Western Hemisphere, there is a heightened awareness and the threat to United States farmers has never been more real.

Although many precautions are being taken to stop the spread of ASF into the United States, it is important for producers to be prepared. PIPESTONE recommends establishing a Secure Pork Supply Plan for each farm site location. This plan is a heightened biosecurity plan to protect your farm from disease, including a foreign animal disease like ASF. In the event of a credible foreign animal disease concern in the U.S., health officials will issue a stop movement order for all swine. At the conclusion of a stop movement order, any movements will likely require permits by state animal health officials. In addition to protecting the health of your farm, having a Secure Pork Supply Plan will better position your farm to resume normal activities, including pig movements. PIPESTONE also encourages farmers to maintain 30 days of swine movement records for all farm sites and report any suspicious clinical signs or mortality immediately to your veterinarian.

As a result of providing veterinary and management services to pig farmers in China, PIPESTONE has been forced to deal with ASF directly. Because of this experience, we are exploring ways to help producers in the Dominican Republic who are facing this devastating disease in their own country. We hope that sharing our experiences and what we have learned first-hand will help to minimize the impact of the virus in the Dominican Republic and prevent its spread to other countries. 

To learn more about ASF and PIPESTONE’s involvement, join Dr. Joel Nerem in the latest SwineTime Podcast on your favorite podcast listening platform or here.

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