African Swine Fever continues to play on the minds of pork producers everywhere. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services National Training and Exercise Program is sponsoring a new training related to ASF. With the threat of the disease seeming to increase, knowledge seems to be our best weapon.
The More You Know
Pork industry organizations have developed a list of actions which could help prevent and then, if needed, respond to an ASF incursion. They have been shared with USDA and collaborative work and further discussion about them is ongoing. Prevention is at the top of the priority list when it comes to ASF and all foreign animal diseases.
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services National Training and Exercise Program is sponsoring a series of four exercises related to ASF. The training will include the top 14 swine producing states. The goal of the program is to further participants capacity to effectively respond to and mitigate an outbreak.
Three exercises in this series have already been completed: ASF Response Policy Workshop, November 2018; ASF Plan Review and Revision Workshop, February 2019; and an ASF Response Tabletop Exercise, April 2019.
These have set the stage for the fourth exercise to take place in September. The final activity will encompass a series of functional exercises and drills.
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians encourage AASV members to be involved in this full functional exercise.
The states included are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Texas.
The September sessions are specific to different components of ASF response and mitigation. Each of the 14 states will participate from their departmental operations centers, or equivalent. They will utilize the Incident Command System and deploy field personnel as needed.
Day one will focus on conducting a foreign animal disease investigation. From there it will show subsequent coordination and engagement of the National Veterinary Services Laboratory’s Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and appropriate laboratories in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
Day two will focus on movement standstills. It will explore state, regional and nationwide movement standstills depending on populations infected.
Day three participants will be implementing the planning and resource coordination associated with depopulating and disposing of infected and exposed swine. Day four will conclude with implementing a system to continue business for non-infected operations within a control area.
ASF will continue to be on the minds of producers and industry leaders everywhere. As we begin to learn more about the disease, more plans will be put into place. Until we learn more, extreme caution should be taken when considering hosting someone on US farms from an ASF, or another FAD, positive region of the world.
Image courtesy of Oxfarm