African Swine Fever Sweeping Globe; is US Next?


Source: The Food Institute

African Swine Fever has been detected in three areas of Asia, sparking fears it could impact the pork industry.

ASF affects both domestic and feral swine and is highly contagious but does not affect humans and is not a food safety issue. The World Organization for Animal Health reported outbreaks last month in China, Russia, Moldova and Ukraine. Italy reported a new strain Jan. 5. Hundreds of million of pigs have been killed because of the disease, sparking pork shortages and increased prices.

Reuters reported recent ASF outbreaks in Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Thai officials limited the movement of pigs in the Nakhon Pathom province near Bangkok after detecting ASF at a slaughterhouse, Reuters reported (Jan. 18). Officials were considering a mass culling.

In the Philippines, active cases of the virus were reported in mid-January in 45 villages across the country, Reuters reported. Mexico ruled out an outbreak last month, saying instead it had detected circovirus type II, mycoplasma huyopneumoniae and Pastrella multocida, National Hog Farmer reported.

Elsewhere, the World Organization for Animal Health said there are new avian influenza variants that are making it “more difficult and riskier” for the organization to track outbreaks, Poultry World reported. Various highly pathogenic subtypes have been detected in 40 countries in the last six months, with 15 countries reporting outbreaks between October and December.