OKLAHOMA – The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, as well as several other agencies, are preparing for a potential outbreak of African Swine Fever as the contagious and deadly disease threatens the swine industry.
According to officials, ASF has never been detected in the U.S., but prevention is the main goal, so the ODAFF, OK Pork Council, swine industry veterinarians and managers, and other supporting state agencies are working to formulate a plan to be prepared if an outbreak is detected.
“ASF is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and wild pigs of all ages,” said Dr. Rod Hall, Oklahoma State Veterinarian. “However, is not a threat to human health, is not a food safety issue and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans.”
Hall says the disease would have a “significant impact” to livestock producers, their communities and the economy if it makes it to the U.S.
There is no treatment or vaccine available for the disease.
To prepare, the state has participated in a series of national exercises designed by USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services to identify weaknesses in the ASF response plan.
The ODAFF will continue tabletop exercise trainings, refining emergency response plans and practice transparent communication with swine industry stakeholders.