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Dominican Republic Shifts Focus of African Swine Fever Surveillance Strategy

The Dominican Republic has shifted the focus of its African Swine Fever surveillance strategy to one of disease management and control rather than quick eradication.

As part of its April enewsletter, the Swine Health Information Center's global swine disease surveillance report updates the latest developments with African Swine Fever.

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 the most important development for North America has been the launch of a new ASF surveillance strategy by the Dominican Republic government where the focus has shifted away from eradicating the virus as quickly as possible to managing the disease, including mandatory sampling.

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

The Dominican Republic producers and their government are still working out their strategies of how to handle ASF.The USDA offered everything they could do to help, including a new diagnostic lab in the Dominican Republic so the samples and the testing can be done right there on the island and not have to be shipped to Plum Island for confirmation.

That's a big step and that's a big step with helping to support their program.But, right now it's between the producers on the island in the Dominican Republic as well as the government to develop their own strategy of how they want to handle this virus.

In addition, you have to recognise that African Swine Fever is in Haiti and the issues in Haiti are very deep and very severe and African Swine Fever and its management and control in Haiti is probably one of the lower things on the ladder of things to be concerned about in that country right now and so that leads to the realization that the virus in those pigs, especially in that country will likely be there for quite awhile.

Dr. Sundberg says the U.S. Department of Agriculture has indicated it's prepared to help in any way it can but it is not leading this and rather is supplementing the effort.

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