The No. 1 pork producer priority is foreign animal disease awareness, prevention and preparedness.
African Swine Fever
U.S. pork producers must take the necessary steps to protect their farms and the domestic pork industry from the threat of African swine fever (ASF). As pig farmers know, if a foreign animal disease such as ASF entered the U.S., it would likely eliminate our entire export market to zero for an unknown amount of time.
In the first year of an ASF outbreak in the United States, revenue loss by commodity is estimated to be $8 billion for pork, $4 billion for corn and $1.5 billion for soybeans.
These estimates are based on studies led by Dr. Dermot Hayes, economist at Iowa State University, at the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.
Checkoff Collaborates with Government, Industry Partners to Battle ASF
The Pork Checkoff has taken a leading role in collaborating with multiple government and industry partners to protect the U.S. from ASF. Primary partners in this effort include USDA, the National Pork Producers Council, the North American Meat Institute, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Swine Health Information Center. By combining resources, these organizations and others have been able to achieve a comprehensive response to ASF that has helped to harden the defenses of the domestic swine industry against this costly foreign animal disease and others like it.
ASF Preparation Resources
Anyone who works with pigs should be familiar with the signs of ASF:
- High fever
- Decreased appetite and weakness
- Red, blotchy skin or skin lesions
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Coughing and difficulty breathing
Immediately report animals with any of these signs to your herd veterinarian or to your state or federal animal health officials. Or, you may call USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593 for appropriate testing and investigation. Timeliness is essential to preventing the spread of ASF.
Use these resources to take steps in preventing and preparing for foreign animal disease.
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USDA Actions and ResourcesExpand All
ASF Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is ASF not a human health concern?
- ASF is a viral disease affecting only pigs, not people; so it is not a public health threat nor a food safety concern.
- According to Dan Rock, Professor of Pathobiology, University of Illinois, most viruses demonstrate some degree of host restriction; they replicate in one cell type or host and not in another. While there are exceptions, this is the general rule not the exception. In the case of ASF virus, there is no evidence supporting either subclinical or clinical infection of humans.
- The host restriction in ASF virus is likely due to the absence of susceptible and permissive cells needed for viral replication. It could also be related to the inability of the virus to overcome intrinsic and innate host responses generated following ASF virus exposure.
- Can countries with ASF export pork?
- The World Organization for Animal health (OIE), of which the United States is a member, considers African swine fever to be a trade-limiting foreign animal disease of pigs.
- Countries with confirmed cases are subject to international trade restrictions aimed at reducing the risk of introduction of the disease through trade.
- The United States has never had a case of African swine fever and there are strict animal health and import requirements enforced by USDA APHIS Veterinary Services, USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine and DHS Customs and Border Protection to prevent entry into the United States. There is a national response strategy for African swine fever that has been developed by USDA Veterinary Services.
- What is the U.S. pork industry doing in response to ASF and preparedness to protect the U.S. swine herd?
- In response to the current situation in China and other countries, the National Pork Board has been working closely with the National Pork Producers Council, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Swine Health Information Center to monitor the situation and collaborate with the USDA.
- The organizations are working together to gather intelligence, engage subject matter experts, assess risk and determine appropriate actions moving forward to address the issue. As this situation continues to develop, we will provide future updates.