U.S. ASF Outbreak Would Jeopardize 62 Thousand Pig Farmers and 550 Thousand Jobs

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Farmscape for September 28, 2021

Feature Report Listen
USDA/APHIS ASF Webinar 1:28:47 Listen
Dr. Patrick Webb 14:12 Listen
ASF Action Week Webinar (Zoom) September 13 Listen

The Director of Swine Health with the National Pork Board, warns an African Swine Fever outbreak would jeopardise the livelihoods of 62 thousand pig farmers across the United States and 550 thousand people who are employed by the U.S. pork industry. “African Swine Fever: Where it Exists and What’s at Stake” was the focus of an African Swine Fever Action Week webinar hosted by USDA-APHIS earlier this month.
Dr. Patrick Webb, the Director of Swine Health with the National Pork Board, notes 29.3 per cent of American pork was exported in 2020 and, in the event of an African Swine Fever outbreak in the United States, those exports would halt.

Clip-Dr. Patrick Webb-National Pork Board:
If you take a look at where we are as an industry today and compare it back to 1995, in 1995 the industry became a net exporter of pork and I think it was around about a billion pounds at that time but as we move forward through time, to last year, we’re talking 6.6 billion pounds of pork that had been exported, so our export markets are very important to us. The trade ramifications for one case of African Swine Fever here in the U.S. whether that’s a commercial pig, a feral pig, or a backyard niche pig, it really doesn’t matter, who has the pig, that one case is going to affect our trade and that is some significant loss.

Dr. Webb says, if you look at the per head value of having open markets, due to the sector’s high health status and being free of African Swine Fever, Classical Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth Disease, we’re looking at a 58 dollar and 65 cent return for pork producers.
He says if we do have that outbreak in the United States and we lose that ability to trade, that is going to be shaved right off the top.

For more google ASF action week or visit Farmscape.Ca. Bruce Cochrane.

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