El Salvador said it would ban all imports of pork products Sunday, as cases of the highly contagious African swine fever in the Dominican Republic sparked fears of a wider regional outbreak.
A highly contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs, African Swine Fever (ASF) is present in parts of Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
A major outbreak in China in 2018 led to the culling of tens of thousands of hogs.
The disease was detected last week at sites in central and northwest Dominican Republic, with one US industry group warning it could be the Western Hemisphere's first cases in four decades.
"I urge the entire population to consume nationally raised and processed pork," El Salvador's Minister of Agriculture and Livestock David Martinez said Sunday.
The Salvadoran Association of Pork Producers (ASPORC) praised the move, saying that local producers had the "capacity to supply the demand for national consumption."
Agrifood body the International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health (OIRSA) reported Thursday that it was working to control the outbreak, urging Mexico and its neighbours to adopt preventive measures.
Given the rapid spread of ASF, it said, other countries in the region needed to "reinforce their animal health measures" at ports, airports, and borders to ensure the disease was kept under control.
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