Due to confirmed outbreak of African Swine Fever, the USDA has taken action to stop the entry of the disease into the United States. USDA has suspended entry of imports of fresh and frozen pork and pork products from Poland while it completes a review of that country’s export protocols. National Pork Producer Council supports the decision by the USDA to temporarily stop shipments to the U.S. of pork from Poland.
USDA’s action was taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure that the United States remains free of ASF, a highly contagious, trade-limiting pig disease with no cure. According to the USDA, “As part of a routine review of ongoing operations, it came to our attention that one Polish facility exporting pork to the U.S. has done so in contravention of the stringent requirements in place to prevent the spread of serious diseases of livestock, like ASF.”
USDA has been closely monitoring ASF’s spread in Eastern Europe and in Asia. The disease calls attention to the need for the United States to be better prepared to address foreign animal diseases, including by establishing a more robust vaccine bank to deal with an outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), another trade-limiting disease endemic in many parts of the world. NPPC supports in the 2018 Farm Bill mandatory funding for an FMD vaccine bank and other disease-prevention programs.
According to APHIS, ASF does not pose a risk to public health, just the swine. However, there are no treatments or vaccines available; and prevention, control and eradication of the disease are mainly based on the implementation of strict and complex sanitary measures.