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Advance rather than reactionary planning is key for African swine fever

By Bruce Cochrane, Farmscape & Lynn Redl-Huntington

The Regional Director of PIC EMEAR suggests a key lesson learned from the European African Swine Fever experience has been the value of advanced rather than reactionary planning for dealing with an outbreak. "African Swine Fever: Learning from the European Experience," was one of sessions at the Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium in November in Saskatoon.

Jürgen Kramer, the Regional Director of PIC EMEAR, says over the past seven to eight years the number of outbreaks among feral swine and domestic pigs across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia had increased, but over the first nine months of 2022 the number of new cases declined.

”The most important part from a learning experience is that Europe was able to eradicate the disease in several countries in a quick and timely manner, for example in the Czech Republic and in Belgium, over the last two to three years. So, there is definitely good examples on how to achieve that. A key factor is the control of the wild boar population, for example,” said Jürgen Kramer, Regional Director, PIC EMEAR. Kramer has worked for Genus PIC for the last 35 years in different areas of regional and global responsibilities. For the last seven years he has been the Regional Director for the PIC EMEAR and have been a member of the global PIC Management Team for the last 10 years.

“Everything that touches the awareness of the disease, whether in the farming sector or the public sector and also the support of agriculture, the livestock business, from the government will be very important, especially when we talk about concepts like regionalization or compartmentalization. In North American there is definitely a lot of initiatives already underway, including the involvement of the government but also the private sector including farmers, veterinarians, hunters and so on,” added Kramer, whose connection to pig production began in childhood via his parents’ part-time farm.

Kramer suggests having a plan that involves all of the stakeholders prior to an outbreak rather than in reaction to one is key.

The Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium is recognized as one of Canada’s leading pork industry conferences. It attracted nearly 300 producers, industry stakeholders and government representatives from across Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Expert local, national, and international speakers shared the latest information and trends on hog production, animal health and welfare, new technology, and the global outlook for the North American hog industry.

African swine fever has not been detected in Canada to date.

Source : Saskpork

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