African Swine Fever Preparedness to be Discussed in January

Farmscape for December 18, 2020

Full Interview 9:53 Listen

The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center says, as African Swine Fever moves through eastern Europe and Asia, it continues to present a major risk to North American pork producers. “African Swine Fever: How is Canada Getting Prepared?” will be the focus of a Swine Innovation Porc webinar set for January 6th. Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg, who will provide an update on ASF Research in the United States, says we’re under a lot of pressure from this virus trying to get into North America.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
I don’t know that we can say that the risk to North America is greater now than it has been. It’s been at a very high level since 2018 when that virus first entered China. It’s been at a very high level and it continues to move slowly but methodically around the world so we’re under a lot of pressure from this virus trying to get into North America by a variety of different methods. Whether it is infected or contaminated meat products, you can’t get ASF in people. It’s only a pig disease so people may be trying to carry meat products that could be contaminated and they don’t even know it. Illegal imports of meat is another big risk. We’re still looking at feed risks, risks of fomites tracking the virus into the country, those types of things so we continue to be under a lot of pressure from this virus trying to get into North American borders.

Dr. Sundberg notes the National Pork Board, the Swine Health Information Center, the National Pork Producers Council and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians are cooperating on a comprehensive biosecurity review of the U.S. pork industry. He says an outside risk assessment firm has been hired to identify possibly national or local or regional biosecurity windows through which the virus might enter, from pig movements or market movements to farm issues and close those windows.

He hopes to have results in early 2021. For more visit Farmscape.Ca. Bruce Cochrane.

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