IOWA -- The Iowa Department of Agriculture has announced new health inspection requirements to protect animals from disease outbreaks at the Iowa State Fair.
The department says all hogs must be individually inspected and identified on a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection that was completed within seven days of the fair.
A veterinarian will also inspect all swine on arrival of the fairgrounds before they are unloaded from the truck.
When exhibitors return home from the fair, the Iowa Department of Agriculture says they should disinfect their equipment, isolate animals that traveled to the show and monitor for signs of illness.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says the requirements were decided on after bringing stakeholders together to figure out what is best for Iowa's hog industry, "We have a very real threat of a foreign animal disease, in this case, African swine fever, that is really running throughout China, southeast Asia and parts of Europe and so this is a very much top of mind issue for for livestock producers, pork producers in the state of Iowa."
Naig adds African swine fever is top of mind of Iowa producers.
While African swine fever does not hurt food or affect human health, State Veterinarian Jeff Kaisand says the disease will kill hogs and also looks like other hog diseases. He stresses producers need to get a premise ID to better track disease and also need to have a biosecurity plan and a emergency management plan, which would include how to mass depopulate and dispose of their hogs or how to deal with a standstill order from the United States.
Kaisand says, "We don't ever want this virus to get a foothold in the United States because it would be very difficult for us to get it back out. And that's why it's so critically important to producers today, build in those firewalls of biosecurities. So if it were to enter, we at least have some time to get ahead of the disease."
The Iowa Department of Agriculture adds the same biosecurity measures should be implemented for all animals.