African Swine Fever Warning
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is asking American hog producers to be vigilant about the dangers of African Swine Fever.
In a recorded message, Vilsack asked livestock producers and pet owners to be vigilant about the biosecurity practices they use and be aware of the signs of ASF.
Vilsack also reminded people that the disease is still spreading around the world, ruining livelihoods and disrupting trade. And while it has not been detected in the US, it has recently been confirmed in hog populations less than 1000 miles away, in the Dominican Republic.
Vilsack:” We want everyone who comes into contact with pigs, from the large farm owner to someone who owns a small miniature pig, and even international travelers and petting zoo visitors to understand how easily this disease can spread and the importance of keeping our pigs from this disease.”
Vilsack says the USDA is doing everything it can to keep African Swine Fever out of the country and believes it has a solid plan to eradicate it, should it arrive here.
USDA researchers have been spearheading experimental vaccines that have been licensed to companies around the world. Some of those companies are collaborating with the USDA to further the research and eventually control and stop the spread.
US pork producers marketed over 131 million pigs in 2020, valued at over $19 billion.