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Educating About African Swine Fever

The arrival of African swine fever (ASF) into Canada would be devastating to the pork industry.

That from Dr. Egan Brockhoff with Prairie Swine Health Services, who gave a presentation last week at Manitoba Pork's AGM.

The main focus of his talk was about the threat that wild pigs pose.

"In Canada, our wild pigs are high health. In the United States they have pseudorabies virus in their wild pig population and that's a foreign animal disease we don't want. Our wild pigs though are very reflective of our current pig health status, so they're high. But if we were to introduce virus to them, they become a reservoir that's hard to manage. We don't know where they are, how do you get rid of them? It makes controlling disease more challenging. I want wild pigs gone."

Brockhoff says we need a surveillance system to keep track of the wild pigs and how many there are.

He talked about zoning during the presentation, adding Canada does import pork from negative zones in countries that have tested positive for African swine fever.

"We really want countries to accept our zones and so if we're going to ask countries to accept our zones, our close trading partners, we have to accept their zones as well."

African swine fever has been spreading across China and other countries, but has yet to arrive in North America.

It does not pose a risk to human health.

An international forum on ASF is taking place in Ottawa at the end of the month.

Source : Discoverairdrie