African Swine Fever Press Release
An outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Dominican Republic has been officially detected and confirmed by the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health).
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration are in full support of this ban to protect our nation and by extension our region’s pork sector.
Please note the following:
- African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs, which is responsible for serious economic and production losses. This transboundary animal disease (TAD) can be spread by live or dead pigs, domestic or wild, and pork products; furthermore, transmission can also occur via objects such as shoes, clothes, vehicles, knives, equipment. Due to the high environmental resistance of ASF virus it can also be spread through waste containing pork or processed pork products. There is currently there is no approved vaccine for ASF.
- Prevention of entry of the disease is vital for Antigua and Barbuda. Due to the ability of the virus to spread rapidly entry of disease will cause decimation of the pork sector as there is no treatment for this disease and incidence would necessitate mass slaughter of pigs. Given then close proximity of our farmers and limited land space decimation of all of our pig farms is a very real possibility were the disease to enter our borders. This would result in devastating production and economic losses to the sector.
- A harmonized approach across the region is vital to secure the pork sector across CARICOM. This preventative approach has been taken safeguard the pork of our nation and by extension, the livelihoods of our citizens.
- Effective immediately, a temporary ban has been placed on all pork and pork products from the Dominican Republic. This includes all live, fresh, chilled, frozen, canned and processed pork and pork products.
- No import licenses shall be granted by the Veterinary and Livestock Division in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration to import pork from the Dominican Republic into Antigua and Barbuda. The Veterinary and Livestock Division will continue to monitor this dynamic situation and will update our importers accordingly.
Antiguan pork importers are therefore encouraged to utilize other markets such as the US. Pork importers are also encouraged to support local producers who are able to assist in filling this void created in the market.