Two More Swine Fever Outbreaks Reported in South Africa

South Africa’s agriculture ministry this week confirmed two more outbreaks of African swine fever. In a news release, the South Africa Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries says the two outbreaks follow an outbreak reported in April. Samples collected by agriculture officials confirmed the same virus is responsible for all three outbreaks, and all three occurred relatively close to each other in central South Africa. The affected areas have been placed under quarantine and disease control measures are underway in the region where the outbreaks were found. Officials there are urging farmers to ensure they are buying pigs from reputable sources, among taking other biosecurity measures. The spread of African swine fever prompted heightened biosecurity measures from North American countries, including the cancelation of June’s World Pork Expo. The event typically draws global participants to Des Moines, Iowa, from countries that currently have African swine fever outbreaks. Meanwhile, Tyson Foods executive Noel White told stakeholders during an earnings call this week that “the threat is real,” that African swine fever could enter the United States, further justifying strict U.S. measures to prevent the spread.