Federal order issued to protect Puerto Rico from ASF
A federal order to set a protection zone around US territories such as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands was issued by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Interstate movement of all live swine, swine germplasm, swine products, and swine by-products from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to the continental United States have been suspended until further notice.
The decision comes after the Dominican Republic reported large ASF outbreaks in pig herds. The federal order is in effect since September 17 and represents the final action in a series of safeguards necessary to establish a protection zone against ASF in these territories.
"APHIS is taking this action out of extreme caution to further protect the US swine herd and protect the interests and livelihoods of US hog producers. ASF has not been detected in Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, and we continue to coordinate with both territories to increase education and outreach and improve biosafety," the USDA reported.
Puerto Rico has a large population of feral pigs and many backyard farms which may complicate the containment of the disease in case of an outbreak.
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