The battle to keep foreign animal diseases (FAD) out of our country is taking vigilance on many fronts. Inspectors are checking imports, travelers, packages, and much more to keep diseases like African Swine Fever (ASF) off our shores. However, there is another area of concern that the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is shining a light on in the fight against FADs.
Liz Wagstrom is the Chief Veterinarian with the National Pork Producers Council. She says the population of rescue dogs coming into the United States is yet another possible entry point for foreign animal diseases. Wagstrom says that just because some of these diseases cannot affect dogs, does not mean they cannot be a carrier.
The NPPC is asking for rules to be put into place to protect livestock herds. They add that the USDA has the authority to oversee the entrance of these rescue dogs. Wagstrom adds that an outbreak of a foreign animal disease would be catastrophic to the pork industry.
Not only would it affect livestock, but the grains used to feed them. Soybeans would suffer the biggest hit as their products are used in a lot of hog feed.
Wagstrom says they would like to see the USDA step up their inspections of rescue dogs, and the measures used to ensure these animals are properly vetted. This will be a win-win for agriculture, and the dogs looking to come to loving homes.
NPPC is again calling for more agricultural inspectors at borders and ports of entry into the United States. They are asking for more funding in the 2022 appropriations bill.
For more information on the NPPC, visit their website.