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African swine fever remains a threat

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Recently Cartagena Veterinary Service’s Virtual Health and Production Conference, veterinarian and CVS partner Attila Farkas shared this cartoon during his Pig Africa Update in Romania:

Cartagena Veterinary ServiceNHF-cvs-asf-karikaturë.jpg

Joking aside, this comic became a reality last week for Germany as they identified their first ASF case in carcass of a wild boar in the eastern state of Brandenburg, near the Polish border. Now China, Japan and South Korea have suspended imports of pork and live pigs from Europe’s largest pig-producing nation.

While this virus may still appear a million miles away from herd of pigs in the US, it is good to see that members of the US pig industry have not left their guards, even during a pandemic.

For example, Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has been on the proper COVID-19 test to help the state speed up the tests, but Rodger Main, director of operations, says VDL is ready to open the next phase of the Improvement Plan. Pig Health in the US. The pilot certification project monitored by the FSHF / Pig Classic will begin this fall and will model the H5 / H7 Avian Influenza Monitoring Certification of the US National Commercial Poultry Operation Improvement Plan Purpose of the pilot project is the added preparation in prevention, response and recovery; to reduce the impact of recurrent endemic diseases with high consequences through the advancement of sanitary standards that mitigate a spread of disease between farms; and finally to provide first-hand experience in the pork industry in developing and implementing a NPIP-like program, such as the U.S. Pig Health Improvement Plan.

The National Council of Pork Producers is remaining vigilant against ASF. During the organization’s virtual legislative action conference this week, the NPPC will advocate for a COVID-19 assistance package but will also address funding of foreign programs for the prevention of animal diseases.

The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection agricultural inspections at U.S. ports of entry are funded by the fees of users of the Agricultural Quarantine Inspection program. Due to the economic downturn associated with COVID and significant reductions in travel, the collection of these user tariffs has dropped significantly.

According to Howard “AV” Roth, President of the NPPC, “Without a quick fix, there will be about $ 630 million in AQI funding shortages by the end of fiscal year 2021.” The NPPC is urging Congress to fully fund foreign programs to prevent animal diseases.

Just as Germany discovered ASF in a wild boar, the American pig industry is also not turning a blind eye to invading animals. The Pig Health Information Center, the American Association of Pig Veterinarians, the National Pork Board, and the NPPC continue to monitor National Feral Pig Harm Management Program. Established in 2014 with the mission of managing wild boar disease damage, NFSP tests approximately 3,000 samples of wild boar each year for antibodies against CSF, swine brucellosis, and pseudorabies. NFSP’s 2020 priorities include a FAD surveillance system, focusing specifically on CSF (serological) and ASF (morbidity and mortality) as well as foot and mouth disease (syndrome). Another advantage is to build the framework to be agile enough to respond to emerging threats.

These are just three areas of US FAD prevention, preparedness and response that we have reported in recent weeks at National Hog Farmer. I hope the industry gets the funds and resources it needs, that the pork production systems continue to update and improve biosafety measures and protocols, and that the industry, along with the USDA, CBP and other federal agencies, can make a joint effort to do everything in their power to keep out the ASF.

I pray that the American pig industry is not distracted and I pray that we do not end up in a joke one day.

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