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ASF: Don’t take any risk and think before you say yes


ASF, which is a serious issue in many countries at the moment, is caused by a virus. There is no vaccine and no treatment. Pigs that become infected die. Dr Peter Evans discussed ASF at CS Vet’s information day.

Symptoms include:

• Infected pigs have fever.
• They do not eat.
• They remain lying down.
• The ears, the legs, and the lower part of the belly are red (better visible in white pigs).
• They may have discharge from eyes and nose, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, weakness of the hind legs, abortions, pain in the abdomen, and difficult breathing.
• Dead pigs have fluid in the chest and abdomen, their organs are red and swollen, there is bleeding in organs, and the lungs are very wet.

“The only way to protect your herd is to have the best biosecurity measures possible in place,” Dr Evans said.

The basics are:

• Fence your piggery effectively to prevent access by people and animals. If possible prevent animals being able to dig under the fence.
• Don’t allow other types of animals or pets within your piggery fence.
• Don’t allow visitors into your piggery if they have been in contact with other pigs in last two days.
• You should provide all visitors with overalls and boots before entering your farm. They must leave these overalls and boots on your farm when they leave.
• Don’t allow people to eat within the piggery and especially not to bring pork or pork products into the piggery.
• Make sure that vehicles and goods you bring into your piggery are not a risk. Always disinfect vehicles and goods before they enter the piggery.
• Only bring pigs in from a piggery, which has a known disease status. That piggery’s health status should be the same or better than your piggery’s status. Never bring pigs from auction facilities into your piggery.
• Do not feed swill (dead poultry, poultry offal and animal offal included). The use of vegetables is not a risk, but feeding meat products to pigs is risky.
• Dead pigs must be disposed so that they do not pose a possible source of disease to pigs outside of your piggery and are not used for human consumption.
• THINK before you say YES
. If you think doing/allowing any action in your piggery is a disease risk – don’t do it

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