The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its latest annual update on the presence of African swine fever (ASF) in the European Union. In 2019, the area of the European Union affected by ASF expanded progressively, moving southwest. During the period covered by the report—November 2018 to October 2019—the Czech Republic became officially ASF-free. However, the disease was confirmed in Slovakia, so there continue to be nine countries affected by ASF in the European Union.
The disease outbreak progression varies substantially among the EU Member States due to multiple influences, including the structure of domestic pig production (in particular, the proportion of backyard holdings), geographical conditions, and the characteristics of the wild boar population. Backyard (noncommercial) farms present specific challenges for an ASF eradication program, such as uncontrolled movements of pigs and people, poor biosecurity, and the identification of holdings. The report also includes information on the following:
Currently, there is no cure for ASF. Scientists have developed a vaccine that appears to be successful in early trials, however.
To aid the movement of fresh specialty crops into marketing channels, AMS is extending the expiration date of USDA audit certifications scheduled to expire on or before May 31, 2020, by 60 days.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has announced a regionalization agreement with China for the safe trade of poultry products.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program leaders this week emphasized the effectiveness of the agency’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, both for employees and U.S. consumers dependent upon the food supply.
Food industry leaders took part in a teleconference to update U.S. President Donald Trump on the situation over the weekend, and President Trump urged consumers to avoid hoarding essential food supplies in a news conference on Sunday.