The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) chief veterinary officer Dr. Jack Shere reminded pig producers and veterinarians of the signs and symptoms of the deadly swine disease.
“ASF has never been detected in the United States and we want to keep it that way,” said Shere. “On-farm biosecurity is critical and plans should be evaluated to ensure strict procedures designed to keep animals healthy are being followed at all times.”
ASF is a highly contagious foreign animal disease that affects both domestic and feral (wild) pigs. It does not affect human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans.
USDA has offered up the services of accredited veterinarians who can review and assess biosecurity plans if needed. It said that biosecurity training is essential for all farm workers and visitors to understand the significance of disease prevention in order to protect US pigs.
Signs & symptoms of ASF
- High Fever
- Decreased appetite and weakness
- Red/blotchy skin lesions
- Diarrhea, vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
“Quick detection of any illness helps prevent large outbreaks,” said Shere. “We would rather be called out to investigate an illness and rule out a foreign animal disease than have someone wait to call us, allowing a disease to spread to other animals and herds.”
According to the USDA, the United States has always had a system of interlocking safeguards in place to keep foreign animal diseases out of our country. Recent ASF detections abroad prompted the USDA to further evaluate these protective measures and take additional steps to prevent ASF from entering the country.
USDA restricted imports of pork and pork products from affected countries and works closely with US Customs and Border Protection for increased screenings of visitors and products from high risk countries at US ports of entry.