USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has suspended pork imports from Poland over concerns about export protocols in the country as it deals with an outbreak of African swine fever.
According to APHIS, a routine review of ongoing operations revealed one Polish facility exporting pork to the U.S. “has done so in contravention of the stringent requirements in place to prevent the spread of serious diseases of livestock, like ASF.”
A second facility is also under review, and APHIS plans to exclude all product from the country until it is complete “to give us time to ensure all Polish facilities that export pork and pork products to the U.S. are acting in accordance with our import requirements.”
“The goal of our review is to ensure consistency with the stringent, longstanding safeguards in place that protect U.S. animal health from ASF,” the agency said in a release. “USDA uses a strong series of interlocking protections against the entry of animal diseases like ASF, including restricting the entry of pork and pork products from ASF-affected countries or regions.”
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African swine fever has spread throughout Europe and Asia this year, but has not yet been detected in North America. The disease is highly contagious and affects both domestic and feral pigs, but poses no human health risk.
According to USDA figures, Poland exported more than 166 million pounds of pork to the United States last year and almost 123 million pounds in the first eight months of 2018.
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