I looked it up, and got a few more details from places like Bloomberg, etc. I'll give their extra info, as well.
Apparently, since the middle of this month, pigs in Korea have also been affected. They aren't the only 2 countries, but the point seems to be that, when faced with a lot of DDD animals (diseased, dead and dying.), that some places may, given a chance, make some money by using the meat in pet foods. They also have the issue of disposing of so many bodies.
The idea isn't that cats and dogs can get sick from it...as far as I know, they can't, in the diseases current form, but whether or not we want our pets eating diseased meat, likely from already dead animals.
Anyway, following are some facts, and the article:
1.1 million Hogs have been officially culled.
Estimates based on previous outbreaks indicate that the final number for the year could be as high as 200 million slaughtered hogs.
The virus is also hard to track. Pigs may incubate it for five to 15 days and can shed infectious particles for one to two days before falling ill. That means the virus can be silently spread in the waste, meat and blood of infected pigs that don’t appear to be sick, especially when they are illegally transported or slaughtered before diagnosis.
In China, pigs are routinely trucked hundreds of miles as farmers and traders seek to take advantage of regional differences in livestock and meat availability and prices, as well as a preference for fresh meat. When hogs arrive at a new farm, they are typically mixed immediately with other swine, facilitating transmission of the disease.
Saturated Blood. The virus, though, doesn’t need traveling swine to spread. A single drop from an acutely infected pig can contain 50 million virus particles, and just one of those particles ingested in contaminated drinking water may be enough to transfer the disease to another pig.
Infected blood, or fluids from urine, saliva or feces, can be carried in dirt on truck tires and shoes, allowing the disease to travel hundreds of miles quite rapidly. Contaminated sources require heating to 140 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes to be rendered safe.
Tens of thousands of swine have been infected in China and their carcasses represent an enormous environmental risk, requiring careful handling and disposal. In Romania, the contamination of the Danube River from dead hogs was implicated in the virus’s spread to a 140,000-pig farm.
Tough Survivor. The germ is hardy, capable of remaining active in water for a month, in meat and blood at room temperature for several months and for six years in cold, dark conditions. It’s resistant to temperature extremes, and can survive a day in vinegar-strength acids.
Dirty Garbage. Scientists say the virus may have arrived in China the same way it entered Europe. A United Nations report suggests some food-waste containing pork was dumped from a ship visiting the port of Poti on the Georgian Black Sea and then eaten by one of the local pigs that are allowed to scavenge on garbage. Within weeks, 30,000 pigs had died and 80 percent of Georgia’s districts were thought to be infected.
Pigs and their feral wild-boar cousins are quintessential waste disposal units, guzzling on protein from a wide variety of sources, including kitchen scraps, manure and dead hogs. While the omnivorous nature of the animals makes them low-cost nutrient converters, it’s also a key reason that African swine fever spreads easily.
A review of outbreaks showed that almost half were caused by the spread of virus material on vehicles and on non-disinfected workers, with feeding pigs contaminated swill or food scraps the second-biggest source. Feeding raw swill to pigs has been outlawed in China because of the risk of disease transmission, but clandestine use of non-heat-treated restaurant and household waste is reported to persist among suburban and smallholder farmers. About half of China’s producers raise fewer than 500 hogs each.
If Your Pet Food contains a Pork or Pork Meal Ingredient…
...make sure you ask the manufacturer the country of origin of the ingredients. This alert is applicable to pet food manufactured anywhere in the world.
African Swine Fever is devastating the hog/pig industry in China. From a July 2019 article on Reuters: “Experts estimate the disease will wipe out about a third of China’s pork production this year, or 18 million tonnes.”
Where will 18 million tons of dead animals be disposed of? Probably in pet food ingredients. We can safety assume this based on the repeated statements and presentations provided at AAFCO last month.
At the August 2019 AAFCO meeting, FDA repeatedly addressed the concern of African Swine Fever being spread in the U.S. by pet food.
FDA stated during the AAFCO meeting that the African Swine Fever disease cannot be spread to cats or dogs. However, they also stated little is known about the disease. Regardless to whether cats and dogs can or cannot be sickened with African Swine Fever, your pet should NOT be eating a pet food with ingredients sourced from African Swine Fever diseased animals (or any other diseased animal).
If your pet’s food (or treat) contains a pork ingredient such as Pork or Pork Meal – or contains a generic meat or fat ingredient such as Animal Fat or Meat Meal or Meat and Bone Meal – – call or email your pet food manufacturer and ask for the country of origin of these ingredients. Make sure the pet food company provides you a response in writing or record the phone call for your records.
And know that the U.S. is not the only country these potentially contaminated pork pet food ingredients could be shipped to. Pet foods manufacturers all over the world could be receiving contaminated ingredients.
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