The protection zone is another important step in keeping African swine fever out of the U.S.
USDA’s announcement that it will be pursuing a Foreign Animal Disease protection zone in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is another important step in keeping African swine fever (ASF) out of the U.S. and territories after the recent identification of cases in the Dominican Republic.
Prevention efforts are already in place in Puerto Rico, but formal designation from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) allows USDA to seek zone recognition from trading partners prior to an outbreak, so the U.S. may continue to export pork if ASF is detected in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. As part of the zoning process, USDA will also work to increase awareness and continue surveillance in Puerto Rico.
USDA has been working with officials in the Dominican Republic to control ASF there as well. Combined with today’s announcement and the on-farm disease prevention efforts of producers here in the U.S., these strong controls are helping protect the commercial swine herd from the disease.
Remember, pork producers can help protect their own operations and continuity of business for the pork industry by remaining vigilant, strengthening on-farm biosecurity and participating in their state’s Secure Pork Supply efforts.
Follow the National Pork Board for news, disease identification tools, biosecurity tips and information on how to create an AgView account. NPB is making Checkoff-funded resources available in Spanish for USDA to leverage in its outreach in Puerto Rico.