US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

African Swine Fever FAQs

African swine fever (ASF), first described in the 1920s in Kenya, is a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of wild and domestic swine with extremely high morbidity and mortality rates. ASF is a notifiable disease with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) due to its ability to spread rapidly and cause severe illness. ASF does not pose a risk to public health. ASF is unique, as it is the only known arthropod-borne, DNA virus. The disease is endemic in Sardinia, most countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and some West African countries. Spain and Portugal eradicated ASF in the mid-1990’s; it was also eradicated from the Caribbean following outbreaks from 1977–1980. However, the unimpeded spread of ASF through Russia, the Caucasus and recent introduction into China is cause for concern. ASF has never been reported in the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.

What is African Swine Fever (ASF)?

African swine fever is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral (wild) pigs in all age groups. There is no cure to this disease and mortality rate can approach 100 percent.

Where is ASF found?

Currently, ASF is not present in the United States but is ongoing in China and parts of Europe

Is ASF a concern for people?

ASF is not a threat to humans but is a significant concern for the U.S. pig industry.

Why is ASF a concern for the U.S. pig industry?

Bringing pork and pork products from ASF-affected countries may introduce the virus to the United States, and cripple the domestic pig industry and U.S. pork export valued at $6.5 billion annually.   

How can the U.S. prevent the infection of pigs due to ASF?

The best way to prevent infection of pigs in the U.S. is to prevent the introduction of the ASF virus.  To protect American agriculture, when entering the United States make sure you declare all meats, animals, and animal products to a CBP officer.  Inform CBP if you have been on a farm, or near livestock or wild pigs. 

Where can I go for additional information on ASF?

For additional information, see the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website:  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/swine-disease-information/african-swine-fever or ask CBP Agriculture Programs and Trade Liaison Agro/Bio-Terror Countermeasures at APTLABTC@cbp.dhs.gov.