African swine fever (ASF) has recently been reported in the Dominican Republic and Germany. Veterinary professionals play a crucial role in keeping ASF out of the U.S. You can help by advising clients traveling to ASF-affected countries to take these steps:
- Declare any overseas farm visits to U.S. Customs when returning.
- Only bring back safe items.
- After returning to the U.S. wait at least five days before entering a farm or any other location where pigs are found. This includes livestock markets, zoos, circuses, state and county fairs, and pet stores with minipigs or pot-bellied pigs.
Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also announced new requirements for importing dogs from countries affected with ASF.
Starting August 16, 2021, dog importers from ASF-affected countries must verify completion of these requirements:
- Dog(s) and shipping crate/container must be free of dirt, wood shavings, hay, straw, or any other organic/natural bedding material.
- All bedding that accompanies the dog(s) during transit must be properly disposed of at the U.S. post-entry point(s) of concentration.
- Each dog must have an ISO-compliant microchip implanted, and the individual microchip number must be verified immediately before each animal is bathed.
- Each dog must be bathed at the U.S. post-entry point(s) of concentration within two calendar days of arrival in the country. Bathing must be documented in the Veterinary Services Dog Import Record.
About African swine fever
ASF is a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs. It’s usually fatal, and no treatment or vaccine is available. Prevention is key to keeping pigs safe. Good biosecurity practices are critical, and all veterinary professionals – including companion animal veterinarians – can help keep ASF out of the country.