Preparation is the Best Defense: Last Call to Join USDA FAD Exercise

( National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff )

During the 2019 Leman Swine Conference, New Fashion Pork veterinarian Levi Johnson said, "What will be your objective if African swine fever enters the U.S.? Eradicate!"

Is your farm or business prepared for an outbreak of a foreign animal disease (FAD) like African swine fever (ASF)? Now’s the time to get yourself and your team ready – before an outbreak occurs. USDA’s 14-state, full-function FAD exercise will take place the week of Sept. 23. 

The exercise will focus on a fictional outbreak of ASF and the corresponding response by federal and state authorities, along with the rest of the pork industry, according to the Pork Checkoff Foreign Animal Disease Preparation Bulletin.

“Everything in this type of exercise is done for a reason,” said Dave Pyburn, DVM, senior vice president of the National Pork Board’s science and technology department. “We’re trying to create a realistic scenario of a confirmed foreign animal disease in this country to see how each stakeholder reacts and to find the gaps that need more work.”

The exercise is intended to help the pork industry find ways to better protect the U.S. swine herd, Pyburn said. 

Contact your state pork association office to see if your state is part of this exercise. If you are interested in participating, the National Pork Board recommends contacting your state veterinarian’s office by this Friday, Sept. 20. 

ASF is a deadly, highly transmissible disease of pigs. It does not impact humans and poses no food safety risk. To learn more about ASF, read

Visit to learn how the Secure Pork Supply (SPS) Continuity of Business Plan can provide opportunities to voluntarily prepare before an outbreak. This will better position pork premises with animals that have no evidence of infection to move animals to processing or another pork production premises under a movement permit issued by regulatory officials, and maintain business continuity for the swine industry, including producers, haulers, and packers during an FMD, CSF and ASF outbreak.

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