The National Pork Board (NPB) put out an end of the year reminder about safeguarding the country’s pork farms against African Swine Fever (ASF) and other Foreign Animal Diseases. U.S. pork farmers know full well that the virus is wreaking havoc on the international pork industry. While ASF isn’t in the United States at this time, the NPB says the possibility of it or another foreign animal disease means American pig farmers should be taking steps to protect the domestic pork industry. Last year, U.S. pork exports totaled 5.37 billion pounds and were valued at more than $6.3 billion. If a disease like ASF entered the country, the U.S. would lose valuable export markets for some time.
NPB says anyone who works with pigs should know the signs of ASF in their animals. Those signs are high fever, decreased appetite and weakness, red and blotchy skin or skin lesions, diarrhea and vomiting, as well as coughing or difficulty breathing. To help farmers make sure they don’t miss those signs, the National Pork Board has free hard copies of Foreign Animal Disease barn posters and fact sheets available in English or Spanish. Get them free by going to the Pork Store at www.pork.org.