Farmscape for December 18, 2018
A member of the Swine Health Ontario leadership team says backyard swine producers and feral wild pigs represents weak points in the defense against an incursion of African Swine Fever into Canada.
African Swine Fever, a viral disease specifically of pigs which causes high mortality and for which there is no vaccine, is present in Africa and Europe including the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria and in Asia, spreading rapidly within China.
Dr. Catherine Templeton, a partner with South West Ontario Veterinary Services and a Swine Health Ontario leadership team member, told an African Swine Fever Telephone Town Hall, hosted earlier this month by Swine Health Ontario, the Ontario Pork Industry Council and Ontario Pork, there has been several fact sheets circulated which outline the risks.
Clip-Dr. Catherine Templeton-Swine Health Ontario:
Swine Health Ontario, in coordination with the Ontario Animal Health Swine Network and CPC has provided information fact sheets for producers and industry partners.
Specifically there is a fact sheet for backyard pig producers.
We consider backyard pig producers to be a risk to the industry because their pigs are often not confined and are more likely to receive kitchen waste and have less biosecurity controls over the operations over all.
There have been meetings on wild and feral pig risks.
In Europe these pigs have been instrumental in spreading the disease so there's been meetings with the Ministry of Natural Resources and experts in this area.
Dr. Templeton notes parts of western Canada have very big wild pig populations and suggests it would be of value to determine the number of wild pigs in Canada.
She notes there is a point at which the population becomes uncontrollable, a situation in which Texas and other parts of the United States find themselves.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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