Volume 21 | Issue 7
African swine fever confirmed in Dominican Republic
African swine fever has been detected in two backyard swine farms in the Dominican Republic, according to the USDA. The farms were tested through a quarterly surveillance program because of an ongoing outbreak of classical swine fever, another foreign animal disease.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the North Carolina Pork Council released the following statement regarding Wednesday’s confirmation of African Swine Fever in the Dominican Republic:
For the first time in almost four decades, African swine fever has been detected in the Americas. This is a concerning development, but one for which the commercial pork industry is well prepared. Biosecurity has long been a major focus of commercial hog production and biosecurity procedures have remained high since African swine fever was first detected in China in 2019.

However, with more than 2,100 commercial hog farms and more than 1,000 small hog farms across the state, it will take the continued focus and dedication of every farmer and farm employee to ensure that we remain free of African swine fever.

The Office of the State Veterinarian has been in close communications with USDA regional staff and will continue to work closely with federal partners and with industry partners both in state and across the country. Any suspicious illness in a pig herd should be reported immediately to the Office of the State Veterinarian at 919-707-3250.

It is important to note that African swine fever is a disease that only affects pigs and does not have any human health implications. Pork remains a safe and nutritious protein source. Importation of pork or pork products from the Dominican Republic is illegal and visitors are reminded to not remove any pork products from the island.

The North Carolina Pork Council will send out updates to our member list as we learn more.
About the Dominican Republic
Population: about 10.7 million

Pig industry: 15,000 farms
100,000 pigs slaughtered per month
300,000 workers in pork industry Source

Exports: No pork exports to U.S. because of classical swine fever designation.

Flights: 3 direct flights daily to Charlotte Douglas International Airport from Punta Cana Airport
Facts about African Swine Fever
African Swine Fever (ASF) is a viral disease that causes high mortality in pigs. Along with Classical Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth Disease, it is one of the “big three” highly transmissible diseases of swine that would stop our export markets cold if identified in the United States.

There is no vaccine for ASF (the National Pork Board has funded several development studies, but to date an effective vaccine has not been found).

ASF spreads through close contact with infected animals or their excretions, or through feeding uncooked contaminated meat to susceptible pigs. It is very hardy in the environment.

ASF virus does not infect other animals or humans, and there are no food safety implications.

The United States remains ASF free.

ASF, which also continues to spread in Asia and parts of Europe, and other foreign animal diseases are a serious risk to U.S. agriculture. If African swine fever (ASF) or another FAD entered the country, it would cause billions of dollars in losses and lead to an immediate loss of export markets.

Additional ASF resources:

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U.S. producers can help protect their own operations and continuity of business for the pork industry by remaining vigilant and participating in your state’s Secure Pork Supply efforts.

Visit porkcheckoff.org for news updates, disease identification tools, biosecurity tips and to create an AgView account. AgView is the pork industry’s free, opt-in technology that helps producers provide disease status and pig movement data to animal health officials if we were to have an FAD outbreak in the U.S.”