The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced Jan. 12 that it is recognizing Mexico as free of classical swine fever (CSF).
At the request of Mexico’s government, APHIS completed a thorough review, which included updating its initial risk assessment in 2016 following a 2015 site visit. Using this information, APHIS determined that the risk of introducing CSF into the U.S. through imports of live swine, swine genetics, pork and pork products is very low. These items can safely be imported following the conditions outlined in APHIS’s import regulations while still protecting the U.S. against CSF, the agency said.
The regulations require that pork or pork products be accompanied by a certificate issued by a Mexican government veterinary officer and that the pork or pork products must come from swine raised and slaughtered in regions APHIS considers CSF free.
APHIS previously recognized specific regions within Mexico as free of CSF, and the certifications previously used for that region can be used for the entire country. APHIS will coordinate with the Food Safety & Inspection Service to ensure both agencies’ import requirements are met.
While APHIS is removing most of the CSF restrictions on these items from Mexico, APHIS must still consider other animal health concerns related to the import of live swine and swine genetics. APHIS will address these issues in import protocols for the commodities, consistent with the agency’s domestic swine programs and swine health status, the announcement said.
CSF is a highly contagious viral disease in pigs. It was eradicated from the U.S. in the late 1970s after a long effort from the industry, state and federal government.