April 22, 2019  •  Vol. 2 Issue 6
Brought to you by: Pork Checkoff, in collaboration with National Pork Producers Council, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, Swine Health Information Center and U.S. Department of Agriculture
 

African Swine Fever: Conquering Asia, Moving in South Africa,
Smoldering in EU

ASF China Outbreak Countrywide;
Cambodia Now Positive

With the official report coming late last week that the island province of Hainan was positive for African swine fever (ASF), China is now essentially ASF-positive in its entirety. In the west, Xinjiang was found to be positive in early April, followed shortly by Tibet. The only areas not known to be ASF-positive now are the city-based zones of Hong Kong and Macau, which are in the extreme south of China.
 
Since its discovery in China in August 2018, Rabobank estimates that ASF has affected 150 million to 200 million pigs, which is nearly 30% larger than annual U.S. pork production and equivalent to Europe’s annual pork supply. These losses cannot easily be replaced by other proteins (chicken, duck, seafood, beef and lamb), nor will larger imports be able to fully offset the loss. The firm believes this will result in a net supply gap of almost 10 million metric tons in the total 2019 animal protein supply, which could be a leading driver of recent pork import announcements.

Cambodia Joins Vietnam as ASF-Positive

The recent notice by the OIE, which flagged Cambodia as being positive for ASF, revealed that 400 pigs died from the disease and another 100 pigs were culled. The outbreak is in the northeastern-most Rattanakiri province bordering Vietnam, which was itself found to be ASF-positive on Feb. 19.
 
Most of Vietnam’s 556 cases of ASF outbreak have occurred in this northern area. Some Vietnamese officials have said that the virus may have entered the country via people who brought infected pigs from China or from China-made hog feed.

Return to top

South Africa Reports New ASF Case

In a report by the World Organization for Animal Health last week, South Africa now has a case of ASF outside of its ASF control zone (in blue area on map beyond red line of control zone). The announcement was triggered by news of a small pig farm in the country’s North West province where 32 of 36 pigs died. Since this was outside of South Africa’s control zone for the disease, contact with infected wild pigs is suspected.

Return to top

Luxembourg Builds Wall to Keep ASF Out

Add the small country of Luxembourg to a growing number of western European nations that are erecting physical barriers to keep ASF-positive wild pigs from entering their borders. Since it is situated adjacent to the ASF-control zone in neighboring Belgium, the Luxembourg Army is building a 20-kilometer fence to try to keep its nation free of the costly disease. Meanwhile, similar measures have been taking place in France and Denmark.

Return to top

Japan, Taiwan Continue Product Seizures

Just as Australian officials showed the world earlier this year, officials in Japan have now done the same when it comes to intercepting ASF-positive food products. Reports cite the recent detection of ASF in two sausages brought into the country by two travelers returning from China. Likewise, Taiwanese officials have now interdicted their 36th meat product infected with ASF (see left, courtesy of Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center for ASF), which have all come from China.
 

Return to top

African Swine Fever Risk Calls for Action

With The global African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in China is wreaking havoc on the international pork industry. Fortunately, ASF is not in the United States at this time, but the possibility of it or another foreign animal disease (FAD), means that American pig farmers must take the necessary steps to protect their farms and the domestic pork industry.
 
As U.S. pig farmers know, a robust export market is critical to the ongoing success of the nation’s pork industry. In 2018, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports totaled 5.37 billion pounds valued at $6.392 billion, according to USDA. If an FAD such as ASF entered the United States, it would likely eliminate this entire valuation to zero for an unknown amount of time. Taking steps to prevent it from occurring require immediate action such as those outlined in resources in this newsletter and found at www.pork.org/fad.
 
On-Farm Biosecurity Resources
To help guard against FADs, consider using these checklists and fact sheets for pigs raised indoors or outdoors. They stress the importance of having an enhanced biosecurity plan in place that is unique to your own farm’s needs.
 
Know the Signs…
Anyone who works with pigs should be familiar with the signs of ASF in the animals:

  • High fever
  • Decreased appetite and weakness
  • Red, blotchy skin or skin lesions
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Coughing and difficulty breathing

To help ensure none of these signs are overlooked, be sure to get your free hard copies of FAD Barn Posters and fact sheets from the Pork Checkoff in English or Spanish by going to the Pork Store via pork.org.
 
Know Who to Call…
Immediately report animals with any of these ASF signs to your herd veterinarian or to your state or federal animal health officials. You also may call USDA’s toll-free number at (866) 536-7593 for appropriate testing and investigation. Timeliness is essential to preventing the spread of ASF, so don’t delay if you see any of these signs.

Return to top

Free Webinar this Week

Secure Pork Supply: How It Fits Into an African Swine Fever Response

  • What? A refresher course on the Secure Pork Supply and how it fits in to an African swine fever response. Learn about biosecurity, traceability, and surveillance.
  • When? Wednesday, April 24 at 1 p.m. EDT/Noon CDT
  • Who? Dr. Pam Zaabel, Veterinary Specialist with the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa's State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Where? On your computer
  • How?
Return to top

ASF Present in Over 40 Countries

When it comes to African swine fever (ASF), today it seems it’s almost easier to say where the virus isn’t present. According to the World Health Organization (OIE), more than 40 countries have reported the deadly virus either in wild or domestic pigs during the past five years. Of course, not all of these countries are significant pork producers, but the diversity of ASF’s geographic spread shows how easily the virus can spread.

Belgium
Benin
Burkina Faso
Bulgaria
Burundi
Cabo Verde
Cambodia
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Chad
 
China
Congo
Cote D'Ivoire
Czech Republic
Estonia
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea-Bissau
Hungary
Italy
Kenya
 
Latvia
Lithuania
Madagascar
Malawi
Moldova
Mongolia
Mozambique
Namibia
Nigeria
Poland
Romania
 
Russia
Rwanda
Senegal
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Tanzania
Togo
Uganda
Ukraine
Vietnam
Zambia
Zimbabwe
Return to top

Fact Sheets Updated for International Biosecurity

With African swine fever in China and other foreign animal diseases spreading worldwide, U.S. swine veterinarians and pig farmers need the best available information to help mitigate these herd health risks. To help with this, the Pork Checkoff and its partners, the Center for Food Security and Public Health and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, recently revised two fact sheets—the Pork Industry Guidelines: International Travel Biosecurity and Pork Industry Guidelines: Hosting International Visitors.
So, whether you are headed overseas and will have exposure to pigs, pork or other high-risk items/areas or will be hosting an international group on a farm or clinic, now is the time to get the updated, free fact sheets. They can be found at pork.org/fad and at the Pork Store via pork.org in downloadable form or hard copy. In addition, the USDA has created the fact sheet, African Swine Fever: Don’t Bring it Home, which also highlights key steps that you can take when coming back from overseas.

Return to top

Pork Checkoff Acknowledges "Tough Decision" to Cancel World Pork Expo

The National Pork Board recently offered a statement of support to the National Pork Producers Council as it took the extremely rare step to cancel the 2019 World Pork Expo scheduled for June 5-7, 2019, in Des Moines.
 
“We completely understand that to cancel World Pork Expo is a tough decision that no one wants to make,” said Steve Rommereim, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “But when it comes to the ongoing spread of African swine fever in Asia and Europe, caution must come first. We stand by our pig-farming partners in doing anything we can to stem the spread of this disease.”
 
The Pork Checkoff has been helping to inform producers’ response to African swine fever since it broke in China in August 2018. The fundamental purposes of the Checkoff are swine research, producer education and pork promotion. To that end, the organization has provided comprehensive information through a dedicated foreign animal disease web page located at pork.org/fad.

Return to top

Checkoff Focuses on Biosecurity Resources for Youth Swine Shows

The Checkoff staff has formed an interdepartmental team to bring even more easy-to-use biosecurity resources to the youth pig show world this spring and summer. Much of the Checkoff’s existing youth-focused resources – including the popular A Champions Guide to Youth Exhibition – will be used in this outreach and awareness program.
 
New African swine fever-focused items highlighting Checkoff’s disease prevention resources are also in development, such as this flyer, which highlights key biosecurity steps before, during and after pig shows.
 
Collaborating with industry influencers such as the National Junior Swine Association, state Extension services, FFA and others are key to success. Digital media resources and delivery methods will be used to reach this younger audience.

Return to top

Checkoff Seeks More FAD Research Submissions

The Pork Checkoff’s Swine Health Committee continues to focus much of its recent efforts on the threat posed by African swine fever (ASF) and all foreign animal diseases (FADs). To help achieve this goal, the committee has opened a new request for proposal period to seek submissions from researchers who are dedicated to help the Pork Checkoff find solutions that prevent FADs from reaching the United States or to mitigate them if they do.
 
The committee’s priorities include focusing on steps to develop and validate tests for feed and feed ingredients, including for ASF and eventually for all FADs. The further development and validation of diagnostic testing for FADs is also a high priority, as well as looking at different interventions for ASF infection, including vaccination. Research into the efficacy of commercial disinfectants for ASF is in discussion and is already underway from an earlier Checkoff research call. Results from this research are expected soon.

Return to top

Key Facts to Know about African Swine Fever

Pork is safe to eat. African swine fever is not in the United States. U.S. pigs are not affected by the African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in other countries, to date.

  • ASF does not affect humans and therefore is not a public health threat according to USDA.
  • ASF is a disease of pigs only and therefore is not a threat to non-swine pets or other livestock.
  • As usual, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has measures in place to prevent sick animals from entering the food supply, including if ASF is detected in the U.S.
  • As with any food product, you should always follow safe handling and cooking instructions to protect your family's health.
African swine fever is a viral disease impacting only pigs, not people --- so it is not a public health threat nor a food-safety concern.
  • ASF cannot be transmitted to humans through contact with pigs or pork.
  • ASF only affects members of the pig family.
  • ASF can be transmitted to pigs through feeding of food waste containing contaminated pork products. The Swine Health Protection Act regulates the feeding of food waste containing meat to pigs to ensure that it is safe.
  • 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.
The USDA does not allow importation of pigs or fresh pork products into the U.S. from areas or regions of the world that are reported positive for the ASF virus.
  • Restrictions are based on USDA’s recognition of the animal health status of the region and are enforced by the Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service. 
  • International travelers should be diligent in following all rules and regulations related to the US Customs and Border Patrol reentry declarations.
Why is ASF not a human health concern?
  • African swine fever is a viral disease affecting only pigs, not people; so it is not a public health threat nor a food safety concern.
  • According to Dan Rock, Professor of Pathobiology, University of Illinois, most viruses demonstrate some degree of host restriction; they replicate in one cell type or host and not in another. While there are exceptions, this is the general rule not the exception. In the case of ASF virus, there is no evidence supporting either subclinical or clinical infection of humans.
  • The host restriction in ASF virus is likely due to the absence of susceptible and permissive cells needed for viral replication. It could also be related to the inability of the virus to overcome intrinsic and innate host responses generated following ASF virus exposure.
Can countries with ASF export pork?
  • The World Organization for Animal health (OIE), of which the United States is a member, considers African swine fever to be a trade-limiting foreign animal disease of pigs.
  • Countries with confirmed cases are subject to international trade restrictions aimed at reducing the risk of introduction of the disease through trade.
  • The United States has never had a case of African swine fever and there are strict animal health and import requirements enforced by USDA APHIS Veterinary Services, USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine and DHS Customs and Border Protection to prevent entry into the United States. There is a national response strategy for African swine fever that has been developed by USDA Veterinary Services.
What is the U.S. pork industry doing in response to ASF and preparedness to protect the U.S. swine herd?
  • In response to the current situation in China and other countries, the National Pork Board has been working closely with the National Pork Producers Council, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Swine Health Information Center to monitor the situation and collaborate with the USDA.
  • The organizations are working together to gather intelligence, engage subject matter experts, assess risk and determine appropriate actions moving forward to address the issue. As this situation continues to develop, we will provide future updates. 

For a full list of producer resources and tools about ASF, please click on pork.org/FAD or call the Pork Checkoff at 1-800-456-7675. Detailed consumer information on ASF is available at Pork.to/factsaboutpork

 

Additional Information
African swine fever is a highly infectious viral disease impacting only pigs, not people, so it is not a public health threat nor a food safety concern. The World Organization for Animal health (OIE), of which the United States is a member, considers African swine fever to be a trade-limiting foreign animal disease of swine. Countries with confirmed cases are subject to international trade restrictions aimed at reducing the risk of introduction of the disease through trade. The United States has never had a case of African swine fever. There are strict animal health and import requirements enforced by USDA APHIS Veterinary Services, USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine and Customs and Border Protection to prevent entry into the United States. There is a national response plan for African swine fever that has been developed by USDA Veterinary Services.
 

In response to the current situation in China and other countries, the National Pork Board has been working closely with the National Pork Producers Council, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Swine Health Information Center to monitor the situation and to collaborate with the USDA.

Return to top

FAD Resources from Pork Checkoff and Other Industry Partners

 
National Pork Board FAD Resources Holding Time Calculations for Feed Ingredients
 
FAD Preparation Checklist for Producers Hosting International Visitors on Your Farm
 
Traveling Overseas Biosecurity USDA Disease Response Strategy: ASF
 
African Swine Fever Fact Sheet U.S. Pork Industry Guide to the Secure Pork Supply Plan
 
Secure Pork Supply Website FAD Resource Packet w/Posters
 
Webinar: FAD and Secure Pork Supply Plan, What You Need to Know SHIC Global Disease Monitoring Reports
 
Iowa Pork Industry Center ASF Resources  


Return to top

For more information:

pork.org/fad
securepork.org

Questions?

info@pork.org


Please send questions and comments about this newsletter to:


Mike King

Director of Science Communications
National Pork Board
mking@pork.org 
Brought to you by: In collaboration with:
Share
Tweet
Forward
Copyright © 2019 National Pork Board, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.