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Independent ASF study validates U.S. pork prevention methods

U.S. pork industry officials focused on African swine fever prevention are encouraged by the results of a year-long independent study.

Swine Health Information Center Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says EpiX Analytics was tasked with finding potential risks of introduction for ASF and other foreign animal diseases.

“They didn’t find anything that we weren’t doing (and) it’s a good thing there weren’t any surprises. But it’s also a recognition that there’s still a lot more work to do, and we can always get better.”

He tells Brownfield the third-party evaluation considered eight possible pathways including the legal and illegal import of live animals, international movement of people, and the import of feed and feed ingredients.

“They put at the top of their list as far as risk, the opportunity to import ASF or some foreign animal disease by feed imports. Because that one could be an open window.”

Sundberg adds while the risk of contaminated feed is not high, the problem is a virus like ASF would have a direct pipeline to pigs if it got in.

He says the Checkoff-funded study will help direct further actions to protect the U.S. swine herd.

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