African Swine Fever
The latest APHA International Disease Monitoring report describes the continued spread of African Swine Fever virus in Eastern Europe, Belgium and close to the Polish/German border where it has been diagnosed in wild boar. Overall the disease has been seen most commonly in wild boar and in small holder pig units.
Although international travel is dramatically reduced at the moment, the risk of disease importation through imported pork products still remains. The virus can survive for months, not just in fresh/frozen pig meat, but in air-dried ham and other charcuterie. The ban on feeding kitchen scraps/swill/any produce that has been through a kitchen is a vital tool in the fight against incursion of several notifiable diseases.
We hope it is useful to have a quick reminder of what this disease looks like: Clinical signs of African Swine Fever include pyrexia, huddling up, conjunctivitis, red/purple discolouration of the skin (particularly the ears, other extremities, or ventrum), vomiting or diarrhoea, haemorrhages in the skin or throughout the internal organs, and death. Mortality is usually (but not always) high, and all age groups may be affected. African Swine Fever is notifiable: any suspicion of an outbreak must be reported to your local APHA office immediately.
Photos of infected pigs are provided by DEFRA for information.
An open access article on ‘Small-scale Pig Producers and Disease Surveillance: Key Threats’ is also well worth a read.
Posted by Veterinary Services on 08/04/2020