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Specialty Insurance

African Swine Fever: What You Need to Know

African swine fever (ASF) is spreading rapidly throughout China, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to strengthen its border protections. The first case in China was reported on Aug. 3, 2018, and by Dec. 7, there were over 5,000 cases. China is the world’s largest pork producer, with a sow base of about 40 million compared to 6 million in the U.S.

What are the symptoms? Symptoms include fever, anorexia, lethargy, blotchy skin, bloody diarrhea and even sudden death.

Is there a risk to humans? No. ASF can’t be transmitted to humans, so it isn’t a public health or food safety concern.

How is it controlled? The only way to control it is by extermination of infected herds.

Can it reach the U.S.? Yes, it can be spread by international travelers with contaminated footwear or clothing. It can also spread through importation of contaminated meat products and feed ingredients.

How Can Producers Protect Their Herds?

  • Require a five-day waiting period before accepting visitors or workers from ASF-positive regions.
  • Prohibit workers from bringing meat from their home country into the U.S.
  • Ask your feed suppliers about the origin of feed ingredients.
  • Enroll in the Secure Pork Supply program at SecurePork.org.

Provided by Zywave and submitted by Nate Laidig, Synergy Insurance Agricultural Account Executive