In the news...

July 15th, 2019

The FOODTANK reports

The African Swine Fever (ASF) virus spreads between animals through direct contact or tick vectors, and it is highly stable in meat products and the environment. This means that even after going through processing, packaging, and transportation, products contaminated at the source can still spread the disease further. Dr. Andres Perez, Professor at the University of Minnesota and Director at the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety explains why controlling ASF is a difficult task: “There is no vaccine yet and regular cleaning of people, products, and facilities don’t kill the virus, which can survive very low temperatures. The high resistance and the absence of a vaccine make control of ASF very difficult,” Perez told Food Tank.

Containing the virus will likely require a comprehensive restructuring of the hog industry, including increasing surveillance of pigs and pork products movement, investing in farm biosecurity, regulating feeding practices, and raising disease awarenessamongst farmers. The latter is a crucial step as farmers unaware of ASF may commercialize contaminated products—actions that jeopardize the accuracy of data about disease control.