What Producers Need to Know About African Swine Fever

The African swine fever outbreak in China and other countries is wreaking havoc on the international pork industry. African swine fever is not in the United States, but the possibility of it means American pig farmers must take steps to protect the U.S. pork industry, according to the National Pork Board.

Producers should be familiar with the signs of African swine fever, including high fever, decreased appetite, red and blotchy skin, diarrhea and vomiting, along with coughing and difficulty breathing. Producers should immediately report animals with any of these signs to their herd veterinarian or state or federal animal health officials.

It’s important to act fast, as the National Pork Board says timeliness is essential to preventing the spread of African swine fever.

In 2018, U.S. pork exports totaled 5.37 billion pounds valued at $6.3 billion. If a foreign animal disease, such as African swine fever entered the United States, it would likely eliminate the entire valuation of exports for an unknown amount of time.