Mexico and the United States agreed on a joint strategy to eradicate swine fever in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader) reported on Sunday.

“With the purpose of advancing in the control and eradication of African swine fever (ASF) in the Dominican Republic and Haiti and, thereby, reducing the risk of dispersion to other countries of the American continent, technical working groups will be created led by specialists of Mexico and the United States to strengthen veterinary services in those Caribbean nations,” the agency said in a statement.

Víctor Villalobos Arámbula, head of Sader, presented the proposal in which experts from the National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality (Senasica) will share their experience in animal health intelligence, anti-epidemic measures and strengthening of port inspection services , airports and borders.

The official proposed the programming of a regional exercise with the purpose of testing the effectiveness and response capacity of the veterinary services of the Americas and their productive sectors, in the face of the threat posed by the viral disease that affects pigs.

He indicated that, in order to strengthen the actions of the technical groups, the work carried out in recent years by international bodies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA).

In addition, he proposed that comprehensive dissemination programs be established on the island, since the migration of Haitian citizens – who may travel with contaminated products – is an aspect that must be addressed.

The head of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Thomas Vilsack, assured that this joint effort will serve to build a scaffolding that can be used in the future to face new challenges in the field and livestock, product of the change climate and the mobilization of goods through tourism, trade and migration.

Meanwhile, Limber Cruz, Minister of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic, recalled that the first outbreaks of this disease have been detected for a year and to date 95 veterinary teams are working in the field, the quarantine in ports and airports has been strengthened and the the number of diagnostic tests to more than 6,000 per week.

While the Minister of Agriculture of Haiti, Charlot Bredy, said that despite its financial limitations, the Haitian government has worked hard to address the risks in the production units and has trained more than 4,000 producers to strengthen biosecurity measures. and avoid the movement of live animals.

African swine fever was detected in 2021 on farms in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It is a highly infectious hemorrhagic disease that affects domestic and wild pigs, although it is harmless to people.

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