African Swine Fever in more than 50 countries

The National Pork Board says African Swine Fever is in more than 50 countries, pointing out that it is almost easier to list where the pig virus has not been found. Having outbreaks in more locations around the world makes it harder to keep the deadly disease out of the U.S., said Dr. David Pyburn, chief veterinarian at the National Pork Board.

“There’s more potential for travelers to either bring back illegal meat products that could be containing the virus,” Pyburn told Brownfield Ag News Friday, “or to track this virus back in on their shoes or their clothing or something that they may have purchased in those countries where it’s positive.”

African Swine Fever is not in the United States, but new cases are reported in nearly 11,000 hogs in northeastern India, as well as in backyard pigs in western Poland.

The Pork Board says African Swine Fever does not affect humans or other non-swine animals and is not a food safety issue.

In the last 13 years, Pyburn says the only nation to have had positive cases and then eradicated African Swine Fever is the Czech Republic.

“It’s tough to do it,” said Pyburn. “It’s tough to eradicate this virus once it’s in; it’s even tougher in those countries where this virus gets in and then finds its way into the feral swine population.”

AUDIO: Dr. David Pyburn

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