NUMBER IC 21-02
SUBJECT African Swine Fever
EFFECTIVE DATE August 6, 2021
EXPIRATION DATE August 31, 2022
APPLICABILITY Aircraft operators regulated under 49 CFR part 1544 and foreign air carriers regulated under 49 CFR part 1546
LOCATION Last Points of Departure to the United States from the Dominican Republic and Republic of Haiti
PURPOSE AND GENERAL INFORMATION
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is issuing this Information Circular (IC) to notify airlines and the traveling public of a specific concern related to flights from the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti to the United States. On July 28, 2021, USDA confirmed positive samples of wild-type African Swine Fever (ASF) collected from hogs in the Dominican Republic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has numerous safeguards in place to prevent ASF from entering the United States. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is increasing inspections of flights from the Dominican Republic. TSA is issuing this Information Circular to assist airlines, crew, and the traveling public in awareness and safety when traveling from last points of departure to the United States. This IC also covers flights to the United States from the Republic of Haiti, as it borders the Dominican Republic and therefore is also at high risk for ASF.
If infected swine were detected in the U.S., infected swine and nearby swine would likely need to be quickly depopulated. ASF is not a threat to human health, cannot be transmitted from swine to humans, and is not a food safety issue. However, humans may carry ASF on clothing, shoes, and hands, and transmit it to animals.
RECOMMENDED NOTIFICATIONS and MEASURES
A. TSA recommends that airlines advise all passengers and crew traveling to the United States from the Dominican Republic and/or Republic of Haiti of the following information provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
Due to the detection of African swine fever (ASF) in the Dominican Republic, please be advised that unprocessed pork products and pork byproducts from the Dominican Republic (and Haiti) are prohibited from entering the United States and therefore, not allowed in passenger baggage. Please dispose of any prohibited pork products or byproducts prior to boarding. Violators may be subject to fines. Remember to declare all food, plants, and animal products on arrival in the United States.
B. Airlines may provide the following additional information to passengers and crew:
1. ASF can survive for months in pork products.
2. Travelers should bring back only safe food and souvenir items. Check www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/travelers-intl to know what items can legally enter the United States.
3. Travelers are required by Federal regulations to declare to U.S. Customs and Border Protection when re-entering the United States:
a. Any overseas farm visits;
b. All food, plants, and animal products on arrival in the United States.
4. Humans may carry ASF on clothing, shoes, and hands. Accordingly, travelers should take extra precautions when visiting farms abroad.
a. If you visit any farm outside the United States, follow the farm’s biosecurity protocols during your visit.
b. Wear site-specific footwear and coveralls/clothing, and dispose of this protective gear before leaving the farm. If this gear is not offered, wash and disinfect or throw away your shoes and clothes before returning to the United States.
c. When you return to the United States, do not enter a farm or other location with pigs (including livestock markets, zoos, circuses, and pet stores with pot-bellied pigs) for at least 5 days.
C. Passengers and crew should dispose of any pork products to include unprocessed or pork byproducts prior to boarding the aircraft.
D. Airlines should follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidance on garbage handling: CBP continues to stress that carriers and port operators must ensure aircraft cleaners, caterers, and international waste haulers have active Compliance Agreements and remain in close contact with local CBP Agriculture Specialist compliance staff.
E. The information contained in this IC may be used to advise passengers and crew of the precautions that should be taken to prevent the transmission of ASF. Additionally, TSA recommends that airlines place these documents and/or links on airline-owned and/or operated websites.
Eddie D. Mayenschein
Policy, Plans, and Engagement