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AgDay TV reports:

Efforts are underway to prevent the first cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the North American hemisphere from spreading to U.S. shores.

Less than a week after the Dominican Republic confirmed cases of ASF, the country announced it is limiting shipments of pigs and calling on its military to try to contain the spread of the virus. Dominican Republic officials say they will also slaughter tens of thousands of pigs after it now says it detecting outbreaks in 11 of the country's 32 provinces.

The Dominican Ag Ministry made the announcement as the U.S. and Mexico tightened border checks to avoid spreading the infection, but didn't put an exact number on just how many pigs will need to be culled.

"We don't accept any political pork products from either the Dominican Republic or Haiti as it is now, because they have classical swine fever," says Jack Shere, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) associate administrator. "We also have been in contact with the Department of Homeland Security and the customs and border patrol people to increase our surveillance and our mitigations and work with boats and air traffic that come from the Caribbean, especially Dominican Republic, in regards to increased vigilance for passenger baggage and the possibility of eating meat products that might come in, especially pork in those bags from people that are coming to visit relatives or are unaware of the regulations in regard to those products."

The total Dominican herd numbers are estimated to be around 1.8 million.
The latest outbreak comes as Asia and Europe continue to battle the contagious virus in pigs. It's estimated half of China's hog herd was wiped out by the virus in 2019. The country continues to see outbreaks.

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