The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is hosting African Swine Fever Action Week from September 13-17.
USDA says ASF Action Week will encourage US swine producers to join multiple webinars to learn about the disease and what they can do to help protect the US swine herd.
Dr. Jack Shere is an Associate Administrator for USDA APHIS, and a 1987 graduate of Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He discusses what would happen if African Swine Fever were to be detected here in the United States.
“The swine industry in the United States exports about 28 to 30 percent of their production,” said Shere. “If we had a single diagnosis of ASF in the United States, all of the countries in the world would shut us off in our exports until we could determine the length and breadth of infection, and then quarantine that infection and make sure that there was no further spread.”
Shere explains the protocols the country has in place should a foreign animal disease such as ASF be discovered on U.S. soil.
“We have in place – if there’s a single diagnosis – a 72-hour hold,” said Shere. “That means nothing moves. No one moves hogs until we can get an idea of the length and breadth of the spread and then do all of our tracing and get our quarantines in place. It would be a big deal. This would be very damaging to the U.S. economy.”
Shere adds that an ASF outbreak in the U.S. could cost the swine industry up to $30 billion over a four-to-five-year period.
“That being said, it would be devastating to the hog prices and what hogs were worth,” said Shere. “There would be a huge crisis in depopulation and disposal of all these animals because here in the United States, we have up to one million pigs on the road every day going somewhere from somewhere else.”
Every day the week of September 13-17, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Central Time, APHIS will host a webinar on a different ASF topic. These webinars will also be recorded. To register, click here.