Source: National Pork Board news release
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 exports for an unknown amount of time. Taking steps to prevent this from happening requires immediate actions, such as those outlined in the resources noted 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. These resources will help you develop an enhanced biosecurity plan 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 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 free hard copies of FAD Barn Posters and fact sheets in English or Spanish from the Pork Checkoff by going to the Pork Store via pork.org.
Know Who to Call…
Immediately report animals with any of 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.