African swine fever (ASF) is a very serious disease that has been affecting many countries across Asia (including China), parts of Europe and Africa. ASF affects all ages and types of pigs, but does not affect people. ASF is spread through direct contact with infected pigs, contaminated feed, and through fomites (non-living objects) such as shoes, clothing, vehicles and equipment. ASF can also be spread by feeding food scraps that contain meat from countries currently affected with ASF. Pigs infected with ASF have a very high fever, are weak, off feed, have diarrhea, vomit, have red blotches on their skin and have difficulty breathing. There is no cure for the disease and there is no vaccine to protect pigs from getting the disease. The disease is highly contagious.
ASF is NOT present in the United States, but the United States Department of Agriculture’s Bureau is Animal Health is instituting more strict exhibition requirements as a precautionary measure. This will impact the market swine shows at the Bedford County Fair this year. Beginning January 1, 2020, swine exhibits in Pennsylvania must follow these requirements:
• All swine must be accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) issued within 14 days of the fair.
• All swine must be permanently identified with an official ear tag and a RFID tag and the numbers must be recorded on the CVI.
• Must be visually inspected for any signs of disease by an authorized Bedford Fair Committee member immediately prior to unloading at the fair.
• ALL market swine exhibited at the fair MUST be sent directly to slaughter following the exhibition.
• Any pig that arrives at the fair, goes across the scale, and does not make weight MUST be sent directly to slaughter.
If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact either Melanie Barkley or Dwayne Hay at the Penn State Extension Office in Bedford County.