ASF in US: "Not if but when"

Many industry experts say it’s a “when not if situation” in terms of African Swine Fever reaching U.S. soil. Pork producers at the recent Illinois Pork Expo all agreed that ASF hitting the U.S. would be a disaster. Mike Haag is a past president of the National Pork Producers Council who says the U.S. pork industry is being proactive on keeping the virus out of American pork herds. “At this point, ASF in other countries has benefitted our industry from a demand standpoint,” he says. “However, if it does come to America it’ll be just the opposite. It will be devastating.” Illinois pig farmer Derek Dunkirk says he doesn’t think ASF in America is inevitable because America does a pretty good job with biosecurity. The Illinois Pork Producers message to their members at the Illinois Expo included preparedness. While it’s important to implement solid biosecurity protocols, Haag told producers it’s also vital to make sure their premise ID numbers are correct. “Make sure your addresses and barn locations are correct,” Haag says. “If the industry does ever get shut down by a foreign animal disease, it’s vital to have the correct information because that’s how all livestock will move through a state.”

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