ASF continues to dominate Iowa Pork Industry talk

by | Nov 29, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

A key update from our friends in the pork industry on preparedness for and prevention of African Swine Fever.  In order to fully appreciate and evaluate where we currently stand, we have to know where we’ve been and we get that perspective from Doctor Paul Sundberg, the retiring Director of the Swine Health Information Center:

“I’ll tell you it got into China in 2018 and we sat down with USDA at that time and looked at them right across the table and said what is your plan, and they went well, we don’t have one yet.   There’s been a lot of progress, they’ve really done a good job. We are more prepared for African Swine Fever than we we’ve ever been prepared for anything in history. That being said, the issue is preventing it.”

Which, he says, that work continues:


“And that’s a big effort. That’s something that goes all the way from USDA to Customs and Border Protection to state animal health officials and state veterinarians to farmers.   It’s got to be a group effort. None of those can do it by themselves, it’s got to be a group effort and we’ve made an awful lot of progress since 2018.”

In regard to where those efforts are currently focused:

“Our pork industry does not have a credible traceability system, a national traceability system for our pigs. That’s something we’re working on with the National Pork Producers Council, National Pork Board, everybody’s working together.”

As at any given point, on any given day, there’s about 2.2 million hogs on the road that would need to be isolated instantly should an outbreak of African Swine Fever occur.