African Swine Fever (ASF) is a viral Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) that affects swine species. This disease is not currently circulating in the United States but is found throughout the world, with recent detections in Eastern Europe. ASF is not a zoonotic disease, nor is it a food safety issue.
ASF is devastating to the pork industry, as mortality runs near 100% in infected pigs. Like many viruses, ASF virus spreads on clothing, equipment, and can survive in infected pork products for MONTHS. The virus may arrive from foreign countries due to the trade that occurs between infected countries and the US, or from illegally smuggled pork products. A recent seizure of 1 MILLION pounds of illegal pork from China highlights that these smuggling operations are a real threat to the US pork industry.
While zoological collections may not seem to be at the highest risk, it’s still important that facilities that manage warthogs, red river hogs, peccaries, javelinas or other suid species familiarize themselves with clinical signs of ASF infection.This video from the United States Department of Agriculture provides more information.
The Secure Zoo Strategy website is an excellent resource for disease planning, and includes biosecurity strategies which may be very useful in preventing ASF from affecting your swine should the disease emerge in the US.
Please visit the USDA website for more information on ASF.