The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Pork Board (NPB) and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) announced a new partnership to enhance coordination and preparedness to prevent and protect the U.S. from African Swine Fever (ASF), a deadly pig disease that could cripple the entire agricultural sector with long-lasting ramifications for the economic viability of U.S. livestock production.
The partnership between these four entities aims to allow for the most effective harmonization of federal and state response plans to enable producers to prevent, plan and recover from ASF outbreaks, as well as encourage industry preparation for future outbreaks and disease response in other livestock sectors, which fosters rural food security and public confidence in the U.S. food system. The agencies say that the only way to stop African swine fever is through proper preparation and mitigation efforts.
“When you bring together state, federal and industry groups with different strengths to take on challenges, you see a united force of resilience across all fronts,” NASDA CEO Ted McKinney says. “Our four organizations together will be able to coordinate strategies for animal disease preparedness and response, on not just one level but on local, state and federal levels. This type of collaboration will lead to better response to outbreaks, and, ultimately, to better animal health and welfare across the U.S. We’re thrilled to be joining this effort.”
According to a report from NASDA, African swine fever has not currently crossed the U.S. border but being prepared to respond and coordinate on our local, state and national prevention methods better ensures the protection of America’s swine. African swine fever is not a threat to human health or food safety. NASDA looks forward to working closely with federal and state agencies, the swine industry and farmers to take the necessary actions to protect our nation’s livestock.