The ongoing fight to prevent an ASF outbreak in the US

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The ongoing fight to prevent an ASF outbreak in the US

The US pork industry remains committed to preventing African swine fever from entering the United States.  But, one of the industry’s biggest concerns is the ability to repair trading relationships should an outbreak occur.

David Preisler, CEO of Minnesota Pork says the US is falling behind in some areas and that could slow down the industry’s ability to return to a normal trading environment.  “The testing and the surveillance is still probably one of the biggest gaps from our perspective,” he says.  “That’s how you can prove what’s really going on and have better information for our trading partners.”

Kimberly Dodd, with the USDA’s Foreign Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory on Plum Island says she’s also concerned about the unknowns that come with battling the disease.  “We’re doing a lot of work to evaluate new sample types,” she says.  “But our biggest challenge is being able to get countries where ASF is endemic to give us access to those samples so we can get a better understanding of how it wound function in the US in case of an outbreak.,”

Preisler and Dodd took part in a panel discussion on African swine fever during the USDA’s 97th Ag Outlook Forum.