African Swine Fever is confirmed in the Dominican Republic. Producers urged to remain vigilant on biosecurity measures.

by | Aug 3, 2021

Summary: With the confirmation of African Swine Fever in the Dominican Republic last week (July 28), producers are urged to be extra vigilant with their biosecurity protocols, especially for anyone traveling to that country.

Today’s Topic with Mike Davis
  • Last week our State Veterinarian got word that there are confirmed cases of African Swine Fever in the Dominican Republic, making it the first time in 40 years that it had been detected in the Americas.
  • Listeners may remember that this highly contagious and deadly disease for hogs was detected in China in 2019 and resulted in widespread animal losses.
  • This is a big concern in North Carolina and the United States because of our over $2 billion pork industry in North Carolina and because of the trade implications if it should be found in the United States.
  • I want to be clear that African Swine Fever is a disease that only affects pigs and does not have any human health implications. Pork remains a safe and nutritious protein source.
  • This news is a great reminder for producers to maintain strict biosecurity measures on the farm, especially for anyone traveling to the country. I’d advise farmers to review their biosecurity protocols with workers and limit access to their farms.
  • North Carolina has over 2,100 commercial hog farms and 1,000 small hog farms across the state. Each and every site must continue to maintain a high level of security on their farm.
  • We have been in close communication with USDA regional staff and will continue working closely with federal partners and state and national industry partners to ensure we remain free of African swine fever.
  • That includes USDA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection who inspect our airports and ports for illegal products coming into the U.S. from other countries including the Dominican Republic. They are our first line of defense.
  • Visitors should not be bringing in any pork products from the island, so inspections of luggage and arriving passengers is a critical component in protecting the industry.
  • Customs will be increasing inspections of flights from the Dominican Republic to check for prohibited items. This includes using trained beagles at arrivals of planes and ships.
  • Fortunately, we do not import any pork, animal feed or other pork production-related products from the Dominican Republic.
  • I cannot stress enough that farms need to be extra cautious and vigilant. We have seen how quickly this disease devastated China’s pork industry and we need to do everything we can to keep it out of our country. If you see any suspicious illness in a pig herd, it should be reported immediately to our State Veterinarian office at 919-707-3250. Again, report any suspicious illness to our Vet office at 919-707-3250.