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Ag Round Table Discussion on African Swine Fever

At the latest Ag Roundtable, Jennifer Tirey, Executive Director of the Illinois Pork Producers spoke extensively about African Swine Fever, a deadly infectious disease restricted to only swine population that has caused extensive damage to the pork industry in China and other parts of Southeast Asia.

According to Tirey , there is currently no vaccine to prevent this disease in hogs. However, there are measures in place in the United States to prevent an outbreak within the country, as well as programs to prepare for this disaster. Such preparations include the hiring of over 600 new inspectors in Illinois alone, large-scale emergency drills involving state police and emergency management groups, and education on the subject.

29% of United States pork product is sold internationally, and if an outbreak were to occur on United States soil, an automatic 72-hour stop of all hog movement and trade in the country would be enacted until the USDA tracks the source of the outbreak.

Jennifer Tirey talks more about prevention while speaking at the Ag Roundtable…

“The prevention a lot of times is just education and awareness. I actually had people in these panels where I could see what they were doing on their computers, and one person said ‘can I get African Swine Fever’. And so, even after sitting in a meeting all day and explaining that this disease is contracted through pigs, there’s still that unknown and that lack of awareness within the groups that we need to have educated.”

Pork is in strong demand internationally, and the United States will continue to provide much of the world’s trade of pork as we continue to remain free of any cases of African Swine Fever.

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