USDA Updates African Swine Fever Response Plan

African swine fever is threatening China's massive pork industry. ( MGN )

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Thursday that it has updated its African swine fever (ASF) strategic plan and expanded it into a full response plan. This comes as part of it's ongoing efforts to strengthen response capabilities in the event of an ASF outbreak.

This new plan—USDA APHIS ASF Response Plan: The Red Book May 2020—elevates preparedness activities in the U.S., particularly given USDA’s recent Veterinary Services’ National Training and Exercise Program’s ASF activities, according to an APHIS release. The Red Book is a comprehensive response plan for the U.S. 

This plan incorporates and supersedes previous versions of the ASF Disease Response Strategies, from which this plan evolved. Highlights include:

•    Comprehensively integrates feral swine response.
•    Outlines USDA authorities and APHIS guidance specific to an ASF response.
•    Includes an expansive chapter that discusses control and eradication strategies for both domestic and feral swine.
•    Identifies specific response actions that will be taken if ASF is detected.
•    Updates the USDA APHIS National Stop Movement guidance.
•    Incorporates Network Based Controls.
•    Describes the initial 72-hour timeline for updated policy.
•    Includes changes to surveillance guidance.
•    Incorporates an extensive epidemiology section to include updates to zone, area, and premises designations specifically for ASF.
•    Includes an information management section.
•    Adds a continuity of business section and references the Secure Pork Supply Plan.
•    Expands information on feral swine management.
•    Includes numerous appendices to supplement response plan information.

Updates are expected to the ASF Response Plan as new capabilities and processes become available and additional test exercises are conducted, APHIS said in a release. 

More from Farm Journal's PORK:

NPPC Remains Focused on ASF Prevention Efforts

From Sprint to Marathon: Experts Weigh In on COVID-19’s Impact on Ag

DOT Finalizes New Hours of Service Rules for Truck Drivers

Medical Doctors and Swine Veterinarians Team Up to Fight COVID-19