International Travelers Encouraged to Report Lapses in Biosecurity Screening at Border Points

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Farmscape for October 19, 2021

Full Interview 8:17 Listen

International travelers are being asked to report lapses in biosecurity at U.S. ports of entry. One of the responsibilities of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a branch of Homeland Security, is ensuring plant and animal pathogens from other countries don’t get into the United States. The Swine Health Information Center is once again asking international travelers to report incidents where they have declared having had animal contact in a foreign animal disease positive region but have not been diverted for secondary screening at U.S. border points. SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says, because people can unknowingly carry foreign animal disease pathogens, the objective is to identify those who might present a risk and direct them to further screening.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
The pork industry certainly has had a positive relationship with CBP, Customs and Border Protection, and CBP has even reached out to us and said let us know if things are going on that we need to know about. So, one of the specific asks of people that are travelling internationally is, if they have been questioned about their contacts with animals or animal products or farms when they’ve been in other countries. We’re trying to make sure the communication gets out to the general population, the travelers that if they’ve had these kinds of contacts they should be questioned by secondary agents and if they’re not to let us know about it because CBP wants to know about that.
It’s part of their internal review process. It’s part of  them making themselves better and so they’re asking for our help in reporting when that doesn’t happen.

Dr. Sundberg says issues can be reported through the Swine health Information Center web site at swinehealth.org or by contacting the National Pork Producers Association, National Pork Board or American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

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