African Swine Fever (ASF) is the most worrying of the viral diseases at present, writes management expert John Gadd. Mandatory restrictions on pig meat trade in affected areas can restrict income, wreck cash flow and ultimately close pig business at all levels.
What can farm owners do?
ASF is spread by contact. Not just pig to pig, but by allowing the ASF virus in through contact on the clothing, equipment, vehicles, food deliveries, breeding stock and every other visit by an ‘outsider’ to or into your farm. Keep ‘contact’ in mind with everything you plan to do and carry out on the premises.
Keep everybody off your farm:
Be strict with who you let onto your farm. The only permissible person is the pig veterinarian. Do not allow people’s vehicles on to the farm. Have a parking spot outside the perimeter and if necessary.
An unbreakable farm perimeter defence:
For the delivery of replacement stock (semen is safer than live pigs) and the collection of finished pigs, have designated areas on or just outside the farm perimeter. The same with bulk or bagged food and supplies.
Vehicles may bring in the ASF virus:
Consider the wheels and undersides of vehicles. Also remember that your own vehicles may bring in disease, so a separate entrance and exit for these is wise.
Fly control on pig farms is essential:
Flies are a direct contact medium for ASF, so it is essential that they are kept under control. Birds are another worry and if found anywhere near an ASF infection then the expense of expanded wire netting could be worthwhile.
Read the full article on Pig Progress