USDA alters disease status for Republic of Georgia
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued an interim regulation changing its animal import rules by adding the Republic of Georgia to its list of regions where African swine fever exists.
The USDA agency is taking this action due to several confirmed outbreaks of African swine fever in the former Soviet republic. However, the agency noted that country has not requested recognition of equivalence to ship pork or any meat or poultry to the United States.
Other countries’ pork products where African swine fever exists can only enter the United States if:
* The pork has been fully cooked by a commercial method in a container hermetically sealed promptly after filling but before such cooking, so that such cooking and sealing produced a fully sterilized product, which is shelf-stable without refrigeration.
* The processing establishment complies with the requirements for further processing of these pork products by heat.
In addition, a certificate accompanying the product as well as strict quarantine and inspection practices are required at U.S. ports of entry.
“African swine fever is one of the most destructive diseases of pigs worldwide,” APHIS said in a statement. “It is a contagious, usually fatal viral disease of swine.”
The disease does not affect other animals or people.
Notice of this action became effective retroactive to June 5 and is published in the Sept. 18 Federal Register.