The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking steps to further its protection efforts against African Swine Fever making its way into the U.S.
The agency is implementing a new surveillance plan in which the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will work directly with the swine industry, the states, and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to test for ASF.
The disease has never been detected in the United States. As the hog industry knows too well, ASF is a contagious and deadly disease that affects both domestic and wild pigs.
It doesn’t affect human health and can’t be transmitted from pigs to humans.
In order to make the surveillance program as effective as possible, USDA says it will add ASF testing to their existing classical swine fever surveillance.
USDA and its partner agencies expect to begin new ASF testing protocols within weeks.
They will test samples from the same high-risk animals, using the same overall process, but test for both diseases instead of one.
The surveillance effort will test samples from high-risk animals, including sick pig submissions to veterinary diagnostic laboratories; sick or dead pigs at slaughter; and pigs from herds that are at risk for the disease because of factors like exposure to feral swine or garbage feeding.