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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

U.S. Developing Contingency Plans for ASF


Given that Korea, Taiwan and Japan have identified African swine fever (ASF) virus in illegally imported pork from China and that the disease has spread to Vietnam U.S. diagnostic laboratories have achieved a high level of competency as a proactive measure. The USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa has developed a program to train and certify laboratories capable of diagnosing the disease if it emerges. 


USDA-APHIS, is cooperating with state agencies, veterinary practitioners and the swine industry to develop a response plan.  Certainly experience gained with controlling highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry during the 2015 epornitic will be of relevance.  It is however noted that disposal of swine carcasses will prove more difficult than with hens but alternative systems have been evaluated.


The greatest risk for introduction of ASF into the U.S. will be illegal importation of contaminated pork.  The seizure of numerous containers of partly-cured pork shipped from China through the Port of Elizabeth in New Jersey illustrates a possible route in addition to smuggled meat products by travelers through airports.  Both the USDA and the Customs Service of the Department of Homeland Security have intensified surveillance and Canada is now also deploying beagle detector dogs at airports with specific concentration on travelers from Eastern Europe, China and adjoining Asian nations where the disease can now be considered as endemic.

Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane