African swine fever (ASF) is a rapidly spreading disease that kills pigs but does not affect human health. The disease poses a significant global socio-economic threat, since pigs are a main source of protein across the world. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is committed to preventing the introduction of ASF into the United States to maintain the health of our pork industry and protect our food supply.
ASF is a highly contagious viral hemorrhagic disease that causes severe illness or death in both domestic and wild pigs of all age groups. The disease has no known cure, and mortality rates can approach 100 percent of infected pigs. ASF can be spread through direct contact with infected animals or contaminated materials, transmitted by a tick (Ornithodoros moubata) that feeds on infected animals, or by feeding pigs garbage or other infected products.
The disease is endemic in Africa and rapidly spreading in European and Asian countries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service provides a list of countries affected with ASF, and the World Organisation for Animal Health monitors current ASF outbreaks. The disease has never been reported in the United States, but the recent reintroduction of ASF in the Dominican Republic and Haiti poses a serious threat to our pork industry.
ASF cannot be spread from pigs to humans and is not a threat to human health.
Contaminated materials, such as pork and pork products or garbage, can contribute to the spread of ASF, and global trade and travel increases the risk and likelihood of introducing ASF into the United States. The introduction of ASF could potentially cripple the U.S. pork industry, which is annually valued at billions of dollars, since the presence of only one ASF-infected pig usually results in the swift culling of the whole herd.
CBP, alongside partner government agencies and pork industry stakeholders, work diligently to ensure food items and commodities at risk of spreading ASF are inspected and handled in a manner that prevents the introduction of ASF into the United States. Travelers can do their part by declaring all meats, animals, and animal products to CBP by providing an oral declaration or by using a mobile application (such as Mobile Passport Control), self-service kiosk (such as Global Entry or Automated Passport Control), or CBP Form 6059B. Additionally, you must declare if you have been on a farm or near domestic or wild pigs, since any worn footwear may require cleaning and disinfection. At select airports, the CBP inspection process, including the disinfection of footwear, may be expedited by scheduling an appointment via the CBP One™ mobile application.
For additional information, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture ASF website, email CBP Agriculture Programs and Trade Liaison at OFO-APTL@cbp.dhs.gov, or read the Frontline Article No Entry.