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Biosecurity Remains Strongest Line of Defense Against ASF

The Assistant Director for Surveillance, Design and Analysis with the Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health suggests effective biosecurity is the strongest line of defense against African Swine Fever. "The Stealth Spread of African Swine Fever on Farm and Between Premises" was among the topics discussed yesterday as part of the third in a series of five ASF Action Week webinars hosted by USDA-APHIS.

Dr. Oriana Beamer, the Assistant Director for Surveillance, Design and Analysis for APHIS's Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, explains ASF is generally spread through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected animal but it can be spread by ticks that feed on infected animals, people can serve as a source of spread and it can be spread by feeding pigs contaminated food products.

Clip-Dr. Oriana Beamer-USDA-APHIS Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health:

How could the disease be introduced into a country? Potentially through the movement of live pigs, if they come from an affected country is one big source. Human activities can also introduce the disease into a country, but primarily bringing in pork products that come from an infected country, those can be introduced even if it's, for an example, a ham sandwich that gets thrown away.

That's enough to potentially introduce the disease. When we're talking about introduction to a farm itself rather than to an entire country, again it ties back to animal movement. Vehicles and equipment moving between farms, if they're not disinfected or cleaned, if biosecurity is not being practiced, human activities, garbage feeding as mentioned.

Hunting, if there's disease in wild animals, that can be brought back to a farm if not properly cleaning and disinfecting. Then feral swine or wild boars over in Europe, if they're not separated from farmed animals, can be another source. Again, that animal to animal transmission through their bodily fluids.

Source : Farmscape

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