Successful Farming - - PORK INSIDER¨ - By Betsy Freese, Ex­ec­u­tive Edi­tor

One of the dead­li­est swine viruses on earth, African swine fever (ASF), has spread for the first time to the world’s largest pork-pro­duc­ing coun­try, China. The virus has since been iden­ti­fied in In­ner Mon­go­lia and Bel­gium. The sit­u­a­tion world­wide is chang­ing rapidly, but here is what’s known to­day about the sit­u­a­tion.

Is it un­der con­trol in China? No.

The virus is spread­ing rapidly and un­con­trol­lably through­out China. The first case was re­ported on Au­gust 3, 2018. By Oc­to­ber 1, there were at least 21 cases in 10 prov­inces. China is the world’s largest pork pro­ducer, with a sow base of about 40 mil­lion. (The U.S. has about 6 mil­lion.)

How did it get into China? Likely through Rus­sia.

Early DNA se­quence anal­y­sis in­di­cates that the virus in China is the same virus that has been spread­ing through Rus­sia. In 2007, ASF was in­tro­duced into the Cau­ca­sus re­gion of Eura­sia, in­clud­ing Rus­sia, Lithua­nia, Poland, and Ro­ma­nia, where it has spread widely among wild boars and do­mes­ti­cated pigs. The virus can per­sist for long pe­ri­ods in un­cooked pig prod­ucts.

How is it con­trolled? Ex­ter­mi­na­tion of in­fected herds. There is no vac­cine or other treat­ment for ASF. How does it spread?

The ASF virus is en­demic in feral or wild pigs.

Trans­mis­sion cy­cles be­tween these an­i­mals and Or­nithodoros ticks can pre­vent erad­i­ca­tion. The virus is very re­sis­tant to dis­in­fec­tion. Find more de­tails at ipic.ias­ /AfricanSwineFever.html.

Could the virus spread in feed in­gre­di­ents?

Yes. This is a key area of po­ten­tial high risk of dis­ease trans­port to U.S. swine herds. Feed in­gre­di­ents can sup­port vi­ral sur­vival af­ter trans-At­lantic and trans-Pa­cific ship­ping to U.S. ports and on to lo­ca­tions that man­u­fac­ture feed for swine. Get more in­for­ma­tion on how to min­i­mize risk from feed in­gre­di­ents at swine­health. org/feed-in­gre­di­ent-safety.

How do un­in­fected farms in China han­dle the spread­ing risk? Lock­down.

Peo­ple and pig move­ment be­tween farms in China has stopped. Pig traf­fic has stopped in or out of the prov­inces. Breed­ing stock com­pa­nies have stopped de­liv­er­ies of boars and gilts to farms.

What are the dis­ease signs? The first sign of in­fec­tion is of­ten sud­den death.

Other symp­toms in­clude fever, anorexia, lethargy, and weak­ness. Red­ness and blotch­ing of the skin may also be seen, es­pe­cially on ears, tails, legs, and hams. Bloody di­ar­rhea may also oc­cur as well as abor­tions in preg­nant sows.

Is there a risk to hu­mans? No.

ASF can­not be trans­mit­ted to hu­mans, so it is not a pub­lic health or food safety con­cern.

How deadly is it to pigs? ASF virus iso­lates vary

in vir­u­lence from highly path­o­genic strains that cause near 100% mor­tal­ity to low-vir­u­lence iso­lates that can be dif­fi­cult to diagnose.

Could the U.S. ben­e­fit from the sit­u­a­tion in China? Pos­si­bly,

as long as we don’t get ASF. China may need to im­port more pork.

If the virus got into the wild pig pop­u­la­tion of the U.S., what would hap­pen?

It has the po­ten­tial to spread ev­ery­where

and cre­ate sig­nif­i­cant mor­tal­ity is­sues as well as cut off ex­ports im­me­di­ately. To­tal dev­as­ta­tion to the U.S. swine in­dus­try would likely oc­cur.

How could the virus reach the U.S.? There are sev­eral ways:

in­ter­na­tional trav­el­ers with con­tam­i­nated footwear/cloth­ing or who are car­ry­ing in­fected meat prod­ucts; im­por­ta­tion of con­tam­i­nated meat prod­ucts; and im­por­ta­tion of con­tam­i­nated feed in­gre­di­ents. The con­tam­i­nated ar­ti­cle would need to ei­ther come into con­tact with or be fed to sus­cep­ti­ble pigs.

What can pro­duc­ers do to pro­tect their herds? Use ex­treme cau­tion if you have visi­tors or work­ers from ASF-pos­i­tive re­gions of the world.

Re­quire a five-day down­time be­fore they ar­rive at your farm or feed mill. Work­ers may not be al­lowed to bring meat from their home coun­tries into the U.S. Visit with your feed sup­pli­ers to dis­cuss the ori­gin of the feed in­gre­di­ents they are us­ing in your di­ets. En­roll in the Se­cure Pork Sup­ply pro­gram at Se­

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