Eliminating ASF from the Caribbean Will Require Long Term Effort

Oct 25, 2022

The Swine Health Information Center reports, while progress is being made in dealing with African Swine Fever in the Caribbean, elimination is likely a long way off.

The Swine Health Information Center's Global Swine Disease Surveillance Report for October indicates over 45 thousand pigs have been culled in the Dominican Republic since African Swine Fever was identified in 2021.

Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center and a member of the Swine Innovation Porc Coordinated African Swine Fever Research Working Group, says eliminating ASF from Hispaniola will require a long-term effort.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:

The good news from the Dominican Republic is that the number of positive cases has decreased from about 40 percent from when it started a year and a half ago to less than 20 percent now. That's a good thing that it's going down however a realistic outlook of African Swine Fever on the island of Hispaniola, which includes Haiti, is that there really isn't much of an opportunity or a look at being able to eliminate African Swine Fever from that island very quickly.

There's a lot of things with the abilities of the governments, with the abilities of the producers, with the surveillance, with all of the things that have to happen with regulations and controls and movements and decreasing the populations of positive pigs that we're probably looking a very long term of that virus on the island.

Again, the positive news is that the number of positive tests has decreased, USDA has assisted the DR in putting a laboratory in the DR that's capable of testing for ASF so they can have real time diagnostics much more quickly than they could before when they had to ship samples to Plumb Island.

So, there are some advances but we also have to be realistic about the long-term probability of the virus being on the island for quite awhile.

Source : Farmscape.ca
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