Farmscape for November 25, 2020
A lecturer with James Cook University says the movement of infected meat by people poses the highest risk for introducing African Swine Fever into regions that have so far remained free of the infection.
"African Swine Fever: An Unrelenting Threat to Global Hog Production" will be among the topics discussed tomorrow as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2020, which is being held virtually with sessions each Thursday until December 3rd.
Dr. John Carr, a lecturer with James Cook University Australia, says procedures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 have reduced the risk of moving ASF but public education remains critical.
Clip-Dr. John Carr-James Cook University Australia:
The virus is moving around the planet but an awful lot of that movement is because of people.
It moves slowly because of pigs.
Pigs are quite lazy creatures really.
They will go to the pub and they'll go back home.
Five kilometers is basically what pigs will do but, you do that over a year, you could end up with 30 to 40 kilometers, so while pigs are a potential problem, they move it slowly.
The number one problem with African Swine Fever is that after the animal dies, the virus is still persistent in its meat and in its bones.
Most diseases die with the animal so, if you die, then those diseases die with you.
That is unfortunately not true with African Swine Fever.
Meat can be contaminated for six months, a year, some of the hams that are smoked can be contaminated for a year and a half.
Unfortunately then, if we have meat that is positive, carrying the virus and we then move that pizza across the planet we will then move the virus with us and then, if some pig is unfortunate enough to eat that pizza as well, then unfortunately it will get African Swine Fever and then the cycle starts again.
Dr. Carr says the bottom line, we've got to make sure the infection is not allowed to enter Canada.
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