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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Danger of Air Passengers Carrying Processed Pork Products from China


Surveillance for pork products at airports in Asia has been intensified following a recent case in which pork sausages from China carried into South Korea by a traveler yielded African swine fever virus,.


Thomson Reuters reports that a traveler arriving at a Hokkaido airport on October 1st carried sausages which were confiscated and assayed.  The products which had been heat-treated and vacuumed packed yielded ASF virus on PCR assay.


The fact that ASF virus can be isolated from pork products on a sporadic basis suggest that the infection is far more widespread than acknowledged by authorities despite the reports of 40 outbreaks in 11 provinces since August and the culling of 200,000 hogs. Most of the reports to the World Organization for Animal Health involve small farms with less than 1,000 hogs.  News reports note infection on a farm holding 20,000 animals.


In the U.S., the USDA deploys trained beagles to detect meat products in both checked luggage and hand baggage.  According to a USDA release on October 23rd, a head of a hog was detected in the baggage of a traveler from Ecuador.  The “Beagle Brigade” is trained at the National Detector Dog Training Center in Newnan, GA which is equipped to train both dogs and their handlers. Beagles deployed at major airports frequently detect meat products especially biltong (dried meat strips) representing a risk for foot and mouth disease from passengers entering the U.S. from South Africa. In addition beagles can detect fruit from Europe and Asia which may carry parasites and disease.

Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane