US updates African swine fever response plan

The USDA has updated its African swine fever (ASF) response plan to include feral swine, among other changes.

Assunta Piu |

New version integrates feral swine response, among other things

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has updated its African swine fever (ASF) response plan to include feral swine, among other changes.

The USDA APHIS ASF Response Plan: The Red Book (April 2020) “incorporates and supersedes previous versions of the ASF Disease Response Strategies” from which the plan evolved, the document says.

The plan comprehensively integrates feral swine response, includes an expansive chapter that discusses control and eradication strategies for domestic and feral swine, expands information on feral swine management and includes changes to surveillance guidance.

The objectives of the plan are to identify the capabilities needed to respond to an ASF outbreak in the U.S. and the critical activities and time frames that are involved in the response. USDA says heightened preparedness planning efforts are necessary to due the continued expansion of ASF throughout Asia and Europe.

“This plan provides updated progress in preparedness and response efforts; however, it is imperative to maintain vigilance and continue stakeholder collaborations in order to effectively protect U.S. swine and the U.S. economy from ASF,” the plan says.

Other highlights of the plan:

  • Provides USDA authorities and APHIS guidance specific to an ASF response
  • Identifies specific response actions that will be taken if ASF is detected
  • Updates the USDA APHIS National Stop Movement guidance
  • Incorporates network-based controls
  • Describes the initial 72-hour timeline for updated policy
  • Incorporates an extensive epidemiology section to include updates to zone, area and premises designations specifically for ASF
  • Adds in an information management section
  • Adds in a continuity of business section and references the Secure Pork Supply Plan
  • Includes numerous appendices to supplement information with this response plan

In March, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach said the U.S. would increase its ASF preparedness, and U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law a bipartisan bill to strengthen the country’s protections against ASF.

View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.

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