23 Sept 2019
Hong Kong Added to List of Regions Affected by African Swine Fever
The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on 20 September that it has added Hong Kong to the list of regions considered to be affected by African swine fever (ASF). The agency noted that the veterinary authorities of Hong Kong reported on 12 May an occurrence of ASF to the World Organisation for Animal Health. About two months later APHIS added Hong Kong to the list of regions where ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist. The new notice is APHIS’s official public notification that pork and pork products from Hong Kong, including casings, are subject to import restrictions designed to mitigate the risk of ASF introduction into the United States.
APHIS published announcements of ASF that same day for Laos and North Korea. The APHIS list of ASF affected areas now includes the entire content of Africa as well as designated portions of the European Union, along with Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, South Korea, Ukraine, Russia and several countries bordering Russia, along with other countries of Eurasia and Southeast Asia. Mainland China was added to this list on 26 March.
APHIS describes ASF is a highly contagious disease of wild and domestic swine that can spread rapidly in swine populations with extremely high rates of morbidity and mortality. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been using dogs to detect pork products at U.S. airports and seaports.