There will be fewer pigs at the 2019 Crawford County Fair due to concerns about the potential spread of African Swine Fever.

While African Swine Fever does not affect humans or other animals, it is a highly contagious and deadly hemorrhagic virus affecting both domestic and wild swine.

The disease hasn't been found in the U.S., but African Swine Fever is found in countries around the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

It has spread through China, Mongolia and Vietnam. Since August 2018, China has confirmed more than 50 cases of ASF. The disease has also reached 10 member states of the European Union.

There's no vaccine to protect swine against African Swine Fever, nor is there a known cure or treatment for it, according to the state Department of Agriculture. The disease can be spread by domestic or wild swine, whether alive or dead, and pork products, according to the Department of Agriculture.

On May 31,the state Department of Agriculture advised fair boards around the state, 4-H leaders and FFA advisors of new swine quarantine rules because of the disease. The quarantine rules went into effect at swine exhibitions June 1.

According to the new requirements, market hogs exhibited must now go directly to slaughter after the show and breeding hogs and market hogs cannot be on site at the same time.

Also under the requirements, market hogs must have a certificate of veterinary inspection within 30 days of the fair and must be visually inspected for signs of disease prior to unloading by an accredited veterinarian.

Because of the new rules, there will be no breeding pigs or litters of pigs on the fairgrounds this year, said Susan Tau, secretary to the Crawford County Fair Board.

The Crawford County Fair Board has canceled the Swine Department breeding show/classes for the 2019 fair due to the swine quarantine issued by the state Department of Agriculture.

Tribune attempts to contact the fair's swine department leaders Friday were unsuccessful.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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