USDA revises order on swine movement in Caribbean

USDA revises order on swine movement in Caribbean

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Certain swine products will be able to move from Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands to the mainland US

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued a revised federal order to allow certain swine products to safely move to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as long as they meet certain conditions. Movements of live swine and swine germplasm continue to be suspended.

On September 16, APHIS issued a federal order suspending the interstate movement of all live swine, swine germplasm, swine products and swine byproducts from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the mainland United States until sufficient mitigations could be established to authorize such movement.

African swine fever (ASF) was detected in in the Dominican Republic on July 28, marking the first time ASF has been detected in the Western hemisphere in 40 years. In August, USDA APHIS established a foreign animal disease (FAD) protection zone in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to protect the country and its territories from ASF. On September 16, APHIS issued a federal order suspending the interstate movement of all live swine, swine germplasm, swine products and swine byproducts from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the mainland United States until sufficient mitigations could be established to authorize such movement. ASF was then confirmed in Haiti on September 21.

ASF has not been detected in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, APHIS took this latest action out of an abundance of caution to further safeguard the U.S. swine herd and protect the interests and livelihoods of U.S. pork producers from ASF.

The revised federal order, effective immediately, outlines mitigations that will allow certain products to move to the mainland United States, while continuing to provide the necessary protections against ASF.

The revised federal order allows for processed swine products and byproducts to move from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as cargo as long as they are commercially cooked, hermetically sealed and are shelf stable without refrigeration. These products must be accompanied by a transport permit and/or supporting documentation confirming the products were treated according to APHIS requirements.

The revised federal order also allows travelers to bring certain processed swine products and byproducts in passenger baggage. These products must be shelf stable, packed in hermetically sealed containers and cooked by a commercial method. Unprocessed swine products and byproducts in passenger baggage will not be allowed to enter any other States or Territories.

Swine hunting trophies from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be allowed to enter the mainland United States if they are fully taxidermy finished, meaning they require no further processing or treatment.