The pork industry in the United States is expected to make massive profits owing to the higher prices of pork products, following a shortage of pork products in Asia, as cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) is moving across China, which is the largest market and producer in the world. On the other hand, pork producers in the U.S. can be devastated is the disease reaches American shores.
A Department of Agriculture tweet states: We’re asking all swine producers and anyone that works with U.S. pigs to reassess their on-farm biosecurity. Working together to keep African swine fever out of the U.S. is our top priority. On-farm biosecurity is crucial to keeping our pigs safe.
The disease first originated in East Africa, before moving in 2007 to the Caucasus region, further spreading into Asia and Europe. The Chinese pork industry has been decimated by the disease since the first reports last year.
Massive Risk to U.S. Industry
A statement by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture says: “ASF is a devastating, deadly disease that would have a significant impact on the U.S. livestock producers, their communities and the economy if it was found here. There is no treatment or vaccine available for this disease. The only way to stop this disease is to depopulate all affected or exposed swine herds.”
“USDA is working closely with other federal and state agencies, the swine industry, and producers to take the necessary actions to protect our nation’s pigs and keep this disease out. This group is also actively preparing to respond if ASF were ever detected in the U.S.”
The National Pork Producers Council has stated that more than 115 million hogs are marketed annually by the U.S. pork market. The activities account for USD 20 billion, and involves more than half a million jobs as well. Key risks to the U.S. market come from pork products that are brought into the country illegally, most of which comes with the personal luggage of international air travellers.