US Pork Industry Continues to Watch and Worry as African Swine Fever Kills Off Millions of Hogs in ChinaThu, 16 May 2019 05:55:21 CDT
The push continues by pork producers in the United States to make sure that the barrier that surrounds the hog production in this country is adequate to keep African Swine Fever from slipping in and causing chaos. Dan Kovich, DVM, is the Director, Science & Technology, for the National Pork Producers Council, talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about that ongoing battle- and told Hays at the annual Washington Watch of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting that "we are as an organization are working flat out to try to identify all possible vulnerabilities and figure out ways to fill them to make sure we are doing everything in our power to protect outselves."
Dr. Kovich says they are preaching biosecurity at the farm level- and urging producers to be asking questions about feed and where it is coming from. He also says it is important that we have the "beagle brigade" in place and pointed out the dogs were able to sniff out illegal pork products that had come in to New Jersey in recent days- Kovich also worries whether or not we have adequate "boots on the ground" when it comes to border agents trained to inspect and detect a possible threat coming into the United States.
Kovich says nothing has changed in China, where they are having a "dickens of a time: in controlling the disease." The estimates from credible people of losses to the Chinese swine herd of as high as thirty percent show how lethal of a problem this disease is.
As to why the pork industry is so worried here in the United States- thousands of miles from the raging infection in China- Dr. Kocich says "There's two big issues here- one is that it is very lethal- I mean it is pretty much 100% fatal- if you get it in a herd- you need to plan on losing that entire herd. The other problem is that we have no vaccine- it's a disease that globally people have been looking for that tool and have just not been able to find it to date- so those are the two things that make it such a nightmare for our industry."
Listen to Dr. Kovich talk African Swine Fever with Ron Hays by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
Earlier this year- Dr. Liz Wagstrom of the NPPC offered a video update of the situation- click on the PLAY button in the video box below to listen to her comments
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