A group of U.S. veterinarians has had a first-hand look at efforts to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever in the Caribbean.Last month a group of 15 U.S. veterinarians traveled to Puerto Rico for a first-hand look at what USDA and Customs and Border Protection are doing on the island in the areas of prevention, preparedness and surveillance for African Swine Fever.
Swine Health Information Center Associate Director Dr. Megan Niederwerder says the increased focus on Puerto Rico is due to its close geographic proximity to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Clip- Dr. Megan Niederwerder-Swine Health Information Center:
The island of Puerto Rico is only 80 miles from the tip of the Dominican Republic and we know that there are ongoing ASF outbreaks in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Those outbreaks put not only the U.S. mainland at risk for ASF but Puerto Rico due to its close proximity to the island of Hispaniola.When we think about travel between the two islands, we want to make sure that no pork products are brought from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico and there are various strategies in place to prevent that entry.
We also think about preventing any pork products from Puerto Rico coming from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland.So, both the USDA and Customs and Border Protection have really increased their presence and their policies and procedures on the island of Puerto Rico to protect not only the Puerto Rican island but also U.S. mainland to prevent ASF introduction.
Dr. Niederwerder says Puerto Rico is negative for African Swine Fever and officials have increased their efforts to put us in the best position to prevent entry and to detect any incursion as early as possible.Source : Farmscape.ca