The USDA-APHIS announcement about confirmation of African swine fever (ASF) cases in the Dominican Republic reminds us how important it is to be diligent about foreign animal disease awareness and preparedness.

Live pigs and pork products from the Dominican Republic have long been prohibited from entering the U.S. due to previous FAD outbreaks there. Along with USDA’s increased disease surveillance in the Dominican Republic and enhanced screenings by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, these mitigation measures help ensure early identification and prevent the spread of this and other FADs.

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 regularly 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.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms ASF is not a food-borne illness and cannot be transmitted to humans through contact with pigs or pork.

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Pork Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in consumer education and marketing, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety, and environmental management and sustainability. For the past half century, the U.S. pork industry has delivered on its commitment to sustainable production and has made significant strides in reducing the environmental impact of pig farming. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or visit porkcheckoff.org.