National pig health in the spotlight

SAPPO’s last National Pig Health Monitoring Committee (NPHMC) meeting for 2022 was held in Week 41 under the able chairmanship of Charl Braak.

In discussing African swine fever (ASF), it was noted that fewer cases had been reported in 2022 compared to 2021. Although under-reporting is a concern, the meeting concurred that this was ‘better’ news. The veterinary team at SAPPO undertook to assist in finding ways of resolving cases that were still listed as open on the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS) website.

The committee expressed the need to finalise the ASF management strategy and farm contingency plans, with disposal of mortalities and culls during an outbreak being particularly highlighted as requiring resolution. Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) was briefly discussed, as no cases have been reported affecting commercial farms. It was noted that FMD has had an impact on exports, and the committee expressed the urgency of resolving the impasse with trading partners. SAPPO is urgently looking at methods of convincing trade partners that our compartments are robust enough to prevent a spill-over from cattle to commercial pig farms.

The NPHMC expressed satisfaction with the logging of veterinary visits to commercial pig farms and encouraged SAPPO to ensure that the passive surveillance system continues to get greater traction. The SAPPO veterinary team shared the current development of the biosecurity audit programme with the NPHMC. They were unanimous in supporting the direction of the programme and asked that it be launched as soon as possible. It was also decided that the annual galley waste inspections should continue.

Lastly, in discussions centred around the Pork 360 programme was discussed, the main recommendation from the NPHMC was that the next Pork 360 Strategy Committee meeting should occur before the review of farm standards in February.

SAPPO would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the NPHMC for their guidance and inputs during 2022.

The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.