Newly Established Protection Zone Expected to Safeguard U.S. Mainland from ASF

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Farmscape for September 14, 2021

USDA/APHIS ASF Webinar 1:28:47 Listen

The Chief Veterinary Officer for the United States is confident mitigation strategies in place in the Caribbean are sufficient to keep African Swine Fever from moving from that region to the U.S. mainland. “African Swine Fever: Where it Exists and What’s at Stake” was the focus of the first in a series of five African Swine Fever Action Week seminars yesterday. The Dominican Republic has been confirmed infected but Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands remain free and results testing in Haiti are expected by early next week.
U.S. Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Jack Shere notes the Dominican Republic has had Classical Swine Fever for many years and mitigation strategies have prevented it from getting into either Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Clip-Dr. Jack Shere-USDA/APHIS:
Many of you have probably heard about our protection zone that we’re putting in place. A protection zone is something new that the OIE has added to their chapters. It just came out in May. It allows a country to choose an area of their country to that they think is high risk and to put certain mitigation factors in place in that area to protect that zone from infection. That’s what we’re doing with Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, so we’re heightening our mitigations there to keep the disease out. Should the disease occur there, we want to protect the U.S. mainland and that protection zone outlines and is designed to say, the U.S. has mitigations and protections in place that prevent this disease from moving from Puerto Rico, should it occur, to the U.S. mainland. So, you have mitigations to prevent movement from the Dominican Republic to the U.S. Virgin Island and Puerto Rico so we’re protecting those territories and we’re putting protections in place to keep the disease, should it happen in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, to the mainland.

Dr. Shere says is confident these mitigations will keep the virus out of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico but, should they become infected, the protection zone will protect the U.S. mainland.

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