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5 Parallels between ASF and Covid-19

Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 2.46.53 PM

Source: Irene Camerlink, Pig Progress, 19 April 2021, photo credit: AgFunderNews/iStock

What used to be a concern of pig producers is now a concern of the whole human population: the fight against viruses. It would not be fair to generalise all viruses or to compare the situation surrounding Covid-19 with, for example, African Swine Fever (ASF). Yet pig welfare and production expert Dr Irene Camerlink found 5 parallels.

Intensive pig husbandry has always been known for its high infection pressure due to the high stocking density and pigs’ susceptibility to diseases. Couple that with stress from management procedures and the immune system will be severely challenged. For this reason, biosecurity measures have been well developed for farmers to implement.

Pig industry has long-standing experience

Now how does this relate to the Covid-19 pandemic? Replace the word ‘pig’ by ‘human’ and ‘farmer’ by ‘government’ and there are quite some lessons to learn in both directions.

The pig industry has a long-standing experience in the fight against diseases, but can still learn from the measures taken during the ASF outbreaks and Covid-19 pandemic, whereas medics can learn from the practices on farms.
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