The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on Thursday issued a federal notification naming India in the list of nations where African Swine Flu (AFS) has been reported. The US has further banned the import of pork or any pig meat-related products from India.
The federal statement issued by the USDA read “We took this action on May 13, 2020, when the disease was confirmed and are now publishing a notice in the regulations. Pork and pork products from India, including casings, are subject to APHIS import restrictions designed to mitigate the risk of ASF introduction into the United States. [sic]”
Thousands of pigs died in North East India last year after which the chief minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal had issued orders to cull at least 12,000 pigs, over reports of animals affected by African swine fever erupted. Several reports in India had pointed that the ASF was existent in the country days before the outbreak was confirmed. Now, the USDA in America has observed that "In response to this outbreak, on May 13, 2020, in India, APHIS added India to the list of regions in the world, where ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist," the USDA stated.
Meanwhile, the Animal Husbandry Minister of Assam, Atul Bora, referring to the deaths of around 18,000 pigs, had last year observed that “The National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, has confirmed that it is African Swine Fever (ASF). The central government has informed us that it is the first instance of the disease in the country.”
"After testing, we will cull only those pigs which will be found infected. We are avoiding the immediate culling of the pigs. We will have daily updates and take a decision as and when the situation demands," Bora had confirmed. Moreover, in India, in 2020 exported pork and related items to the US that were worth USD 5,00,000. ASF is a deadly disease that occurred in animals and later has also led to human contractions, concerning scientists and doctors across the world. Resulting from this, the US has beefed up measures to restrict the entry of pork or pork products from countries that recorded infections pertaining to African swine flu.