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Federal Order suspends movement of swine from U.S. islands to mainland

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a Federal Order to suspend the movement of swine and swine products from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the mainland United States.

National Pork Producers Council chief veterinarian Dr. Liz Wagstrom tells Brownfield the order is in response to the late July discovery of African swine fever in the Dominican Republic.

“That’s being put in place to protect the U.S. mainland’s ability to continue to export pork.”

Wagstrom says while the islands have never exported commercial pork to the mainland U.S., it had been legal prior to the order for passengers to carry meat in their luggage when traveling to the mainland.

NPPC is concerned about Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands becoming infected with ASF and trading partners cutting off pork exports from the entire U.S.

“So what the protection zone does, it’s got three components. First of all, there needs to be some biosecurity on the islands, which is Customs and Border Protection and USDA keeping illegal meat, products, or live animals out of there.”

Wagstrom says the expectation is trading partners will accept the protection zone and not consider the rest of the U.S. ASF-positive if a case was discovered in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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