SUMMARY
  • African swine fever is a notifiable disease with several infective strains, affecting all pigs but not humans.
  • First discovered in Africa in the early 1900’s, ASF represents a significant economic risk to pig producing countries through severe mortality and bans on the export of pork products. Spread to Eastern Europe in 2007 and again in 2014 with the recent outbreak in Belgium, biosecurity is key.
  • African swine fever is a notifiable disease. If you suspect it you must report it immediately.
  • Anpario’s Credence is effective against the ASF virus and can be used for on farm disinfection of equipment and feed/water lines (Juszkiewicz et al. 2019).
SPOTTING ASF

Clinical signs are similar to Classical swine fever, but the diseases are not the same, generally these occur 3-15 days following infection but diagnosis can only be confirmed with blood tests.

  • High fever, loss of appetite and lethargy
  • Sudden death
  • Red/dark skin in patches, particularly around the ears, chest or belly
  • Red eyes and/or eye discharge
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Laboured breathing or coughing

 

CONTROLLING THE SPREAD OF ASF

Recent outbreaks in Eastern Europe have led to further investigation into control measures and preventing the spread to commercial pig herds. ASF is highly contagious and can spread easily between wild boar which can transport the virus across large distances and pass it onto other wild boar, feral pigs or back yard farms and commercial herds where biosecurity is insufficient. Ways it is contracted:

  • Pigs consuming infected meat or meat products
  • Direct contact with infected pigs, body fluids or faeces, including biting flies and ticks
  • Contact with contaminated materials such as:
    • Clothing and footwear
    • People
    • Vehicles or equipment

 

PREVENTION AND CONTROL
  • Prevention is, as always more effective than a cure, especially in terms of ASF which has no vaccination or known cure and in most cases all infected animals will die.
  • As wild boar are the reservoir of the virus it is paramount to ensure their exclusion from land which pigs, equipment, feeding bins and workforce use.
  • Boot washing, wheel and lorry washing are required as well as effective drying of equipment following disinfection to ensure no live virus can be transported onto the unit.
  • Any dead or signs of disease in wild boar or feral pigs found must be reported.
  • Credence contains Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione and has been shown to be effective in killing the virus in animal buildings, equipment and feed/water and transport vehicles (Juszkiewicz et al. 2019).

 

Reference: DOI: 10.2478/jvetres-2019-0006