African Swine Fever confirmed in Dominican Republic

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The USDA Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed the discovery of African swine fever (ASF) in samples collected from pigs in the Dominican Republic through an existing cooperative surveillance program. Pork and pork products from the Dominican Republic are currently prohibited entry as a result of existing classical swine fever restrictions. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is increasing inspections of flights from the Dominican Republic to ensure travelers do not bring prohibited products to the US.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture is monitoring the global African Swine Fever situation closely with the recent announcement of ASF in the Dominican Republic. African swine fever is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral swine of all ages. ASF is not a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. It is not a food safety issue.

This is the first case of ASF in the Western Hemisphere in recent history. Additional outbreaks across Asia and Europe pose an additional threat to the US pork industry. ASF is found in countries around the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. More recently, it has spread through China, Mongolia, and Vietnam, as well as within parts of the European Union. While this disease in not currently present in the United States nor has it ever been diagnosed here, it serves as a reminder that we live in a global economy and disease threats are ever-present.

Strong biosecurity represents the best chance for protecting swine operations and the US swine industry. All livestock owners should employ strict biosecurity measures and if you “see something, say something”.

To read more about ASF, click here.


Posted July 30, 2021