Preventing Foreign Animal Disease Introduction Requires Team Effort

Farmscape for July 31, 2023

Full Interview 12:08 Listen

The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center says keeping transboundary diseases out of the United States is a collective effort by the travellers, the pork industry and U.S. Customs and Border Protection together. The Swine Health Information Center is reminding international travellers entering the U.S. to notify U.S. customs of visits to farms outside the U.S. and to report incidents where, after doing so they have not been diverted for further screening. SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says it’s all about risk and preventing the introduction of foreign animal diseases including African Swine Fever.

Quote-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
Customs and Border Protection is very interested in those incidences where the traveller has not been diverted to secondary screening.
They’re asking us and we’re supplying them with the information that they need in order to go back to their agents and review the procedures with them to make sure those agents do as they are supposed to and divert those traveller’s that indicate farm contact.

What we’re asking of the traveller is some simple information. They don’t have to include their name.
It can be anonymous but emailing this information or even call me with the information. is my email address.
It’s simple information such as the country visited, the date and time of return, the airline and the flight, the declaration form written, kiosk or verbal and anything else that they can tell us about that interaction at the airport.

Again, this isn’t so much of an effort to punish or to identify specific agents. It’s a collective effort by everybody, the travellers, the pork industry and Customs and Border Protection together to up the game and make sure that we do everything we can do to prevent introduction transboundary diseases including African Swine Fever.

Dr. Sundberg says monitoring CBP’s performance in regards to secondary screening is another import piece of our prevention activities.

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