Typically, animal diseases have a seasonal presence. For example, avian influenza, like other influenza viruses prefer cold damp conditions. On the other hand, viruses transmitted by mosquitoes (arboviruses), including Equine Encephalitis virus and West Nile virus , are diagnosed when the mosquito population has peaked, often in in mid-late summer and early fall.
In addition to the seasonal prevalence of arboviruses in the United States, USDA APHIS has been tracking and reporting on an outbreak of Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) in California, first identified in May 18, 2018.
To date the virus has been confirmed predominately in backyard exhibition chickens. Backyard mixed species birds, backyard hobby turkeys and one live bird market have also been infected. Virus has not been identified in commercial flocks to date, and state and federal animal health officials are emphasizing the importance of implementing enhances biosecurity practices to prevent additional transmission to other premises. The last confirmed case was reported on October 4, 2018.
Across the globe, African Swine Fever, a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of wild and domestic suids, has been spreading in Asia and across Europe.
As reported by USDA, China first reported the outbreak on August 3, 2018, “on a domestic swine farm in Shenyang, Liaoning Province with an onset date of August 1.” This disease, like other highly pathogenic diseases of livestock and poultry are reportable to the World Animal Health Organization (“OIE”).
In addition to China, since the beginning of 2018, ASF has been reported in the following countries: Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Poland, Czech Repulic, Belgium, Russia, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine and Chad, as reported by OIE.
USDA reported that it met with the swine industry on September 5, 2018 “to discuss protections USDA has in place to prevent the introduction of African Swine Fever (ASF) to the United States as well as activities to enhance those protections.”
USDA provided a summary of recommended enhancement activities-“USDA industry prevention points.”
To prevent the introduction of this virus to the United States, USDA has: scheduled biweekly calls for updates and discussion; will review state authorized waste feeding of swine to determine whether inspection of licensed facilities should be enhanced; reviewed the importation of potentially infected meat, casing, and feed; asked Custom and Border Protection to “target its inspections of passengers and cargo coming from ASF positive regions.”
According to a report by Rabobank, African Swine Fever Shifts Global Protein Picture,
These disruptions could open export opportunities for U.S., Canadian and Brazilian pork producers, including initial panic buying. However, Rabobank explained, the potential spread of the disease throughout Asia and/or Europe also poses a great risk to North American and South American producers.