Preventing African swine fever (ASF) from entering the U.S. is a primary goal of the entire pork industry and allied industries. Recognizing the growing threat ASF presents, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has increased their biosecurity safeguard protocols.
As part of this updated protocol, no USGC-led or -organized teams will visit swine farms or operations in the U.S. in 2019, and teams from confirmed ASFV-affected countries will not visit any type of U.S. livestock operation. Travelers will still be able to meet with livestock companies in appropriate settings to discuss production and feeding practices.
“The African swine fever virus is not in the U.S. and, as world trade ambassadors, the Council is taking precautions to limit exposure,” said Tom Sleight, USGC president and CEO.
These updated protocols are in aligned with the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council’s detailed biosecurity guidelines.
“The Council has a strict protocol in place for all our international teams, including sanitary and quarantine measures,” Sleight said. “We take this situation very seriously and we have been working closely with our friends at the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board on awareness and protocols.”
USGC will inform biosecurity protocols to all USGC-sponsored travelers before they travel, as well as issuing and ensuring use of appropriate disinfectant and barrier plastics/shoe coverings during visit locations as required. Additional measures include:
- For five days immediately prior to travel, avoid all contact with farm animals, marketing facilities, zoos, fairs/exhibitions or other sites where livestock is kept.
- Wash or dry clean all clothing articles before backing for travel. Wear clean clothes that have not been near livestock, wildlife or other animals within five days prior to travel.
- To the extent possible, disinfect other possessions before embarking on travel to the U.S. Team members should be advised to wipe down glasses, jewelry, watches, belts, hats, cell phones, purses, luggage etc.
- Do not wear or bring shoes/boots that have been used on or around livestock facilities in country of origin. If this is not practical or possible, travelers must assure that a minimum of 10 days have elapsed immediately prior to travel before wearing or packing shoes/boots that have been used on farms or around livestock facilities in country of origin. In either case, shoes and boots should be cleaned and disinfected.
- Don’t carry food or other prohibited items to the U.S.
- Upon arrival in the U.S., make a customs declaration related to contact with farms/ranches or any other site where animals or livestock are kept.
- Comply with specific biosecurity procedures at each visit site. Wear protective clothing and/or barrier plastics (coats/boots) provided by the Council or the host. Leave behind and/or dispose of protective clothing or barrier plastics at the end of each visit.
To read more coverage of measures to prevent ASF from reaching U.S. borders, visit www.porkbusiness.com/ASF.