MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -:Preventing the spread of foreign diseases in livestock was the main topic discussed at Congressman Jim Hagedorn’s roundtable discussion.
Congressman Jim Hagedorn, USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach and Minnesota Pork CEO David Preisler led the discussion giving area farmers and producer leaders chances to voice their concerns, like blocking the spread of the African Swine Fever into North America.
The African Swine Fever is a disease in pigs that has claimed the lives of more than one million pigs in China.
“The main goal is to keep things like African Swine Fever out of the United States, because it would really devastate all of our farm production right down to mainstream. So we are going to keep working on that to have more inspectors at the point of entry, beef up the beagle brigades to make sure we sniff out the pork products coming into the United States,” said Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01)
“The rest of the discussions is about preparing for the worst, which we think is an unlikely scenario but it’s important to be prepared for that,” added USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach.
There have been no cases of the disease in North America. Along with border protection, protective storage methods in feed that are imported from other countries are in place.
African Swine Fever cannot be contracted by humans.