Page 12 - Australian Pork Newspaper
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Spleens from pigs with African swine fever and clas- sical swine fever. Photo: CA Mebus
Skin lesion showing cyanosis of ears. Photo: PJ Wilkinson
There is an ongoing need to practice good bi- osecurity and report the first signs of disease.
The disease was then re- ported from the 1960s to 1990s in Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, France, Haiti, Italy, Malta, the Nether- lands, Portugal and Spain.
With African swine fever confirmed in Papua New Guinea in March 2020, exotic disease plan- ning and training on-farm is essential.
Wild pigs have been recognised as sources of infection in a number of outbreaks in endemic countries and, should ASF enter Australia, the feral pig population may act as a reservoir of the virus. Epidemiology
Biosecurity and what it means to Australia
AUSTRALIA is free of the world’s worst animal diseases such as African swine fever, foot and mouth disease and avian influenza H5N1.
wild pigs
that may result in high or
ucts within Australia that contain imported porcine- derived ingredients.
disease in Western Europe since the virus landed in Georgia and Armenia in 2007.
DNA virus of the genus Asfivirus, family Asfar- viridae.
Animal pests and dis- eases are a major threat to Australia’s livestock and poultry industries and an outbreak could impact on our access to export mar- kets and undermine liveli- hoods.
low case mortality rates, fever, hyperaemia of the skin and a variety of other clinical signs, including incoordination, diarrhoea and pneumonia.
These internal controls manage the risk of suscep- tible livestock being ex- posed to exotic livestock diseases.
ASF was also reported for the first time in China in August 2018 and, given the experience with ASF in other countries, eradication in China will likely require significant resourcing and control measures.
The virus is very re- sistant to inactivation in the environment and virus isolates vary greatly in their virulence.
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Biosecurity means pro- tecting the economy, en- vironment and the com- munity from the negative impacts of pests, disease, weeds and contaminants.
ASF has never been re- ported in Australia and an outbreak of ASF would have significant impacts on productivity and inter- national market access.
The disease has since been eradicated from most of these countries but remains endemic in feral pigs in Sardinia, an island of Italy.
When planning for an ASF outbreak, producers should consider which aspects of everyday op- erations may need to be strengthened further.
ASFV spreads rapidly via both direct and indi- rect pathways and the in- cubation period is usually between four and 19 days.
Biosecurity practices include disinfecting, signage, maintaining boundary fences, checking for strays, restricting visitor and vehicle move- ments, ensuring all ma- chinery brought onto the property is cleaned, good husbandry, ensuring pur- chases are from reliable sources, inspecting the flock or herd regularly and quarantining new stock.
The disease would also likely be difficult and costly to eradicate.
Outbreaks have oc- curred since June 2007 in many countries – most notably the Ukraine, western Russia, and the EU member states in cen- tral and eastern Europe – where the disease had not previously been reported.
This may include cleaning and disinfection procedures, staff educa- tion sessions, equipment checklists and vector/pest control management.
Pigs with acute disease shed virus in high concen- trations in all secretions and excretions, particu- larly those that contain blood.
African swine fever
These are supported by internal controls, such as the national swill feeding ban, over the use of prod-
Belgium confirmed two cases of ASF in their wild boar population on Sep- tember 13, 2018, the first known occurrence of the
Pigs that survive natural infection may develop antibodies against ASFV from 7-10 days post-infec- tion and these antibodies can persist for long pe- riods of time.
African swine fever is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and
The causative agent of ASF is African swine fever virus, an enveloped
Movement of infected pigs is the most important method of spread between piggeries.
Due to its high economic burden and the lack of a commercially available vaccine, it is considered one of the most important diseases of pigs world- wide and is listed by the World Organisation for Animal Health Terrestrial Animal Health Code as a notifiable disease.
ASF was limited to sub- Saharan Africa until 1957 when the disease occurred in Portugal.
In Australia, both do- mestic and feral pigs are susceptible hosts for ASF.
The pork industry is an important contributor to Australian livestock pro- duction and the national economy, and existing import controls – applied since 2004 in most cases – include measures to manage the risk from ASF in pig meat and porcine products.
Control efforts in these countries have not to date effectively prevented the spread of this disease.
Producers need to con- sider on-farm biosecurity improvements to make a property ‘ASF proof’ and how pigs might be man- aged and housed on-farm for a week with no off-site movements.
Infection by the oral and respiratory routes can also occur between pigs in close contact.
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Virus is transmitted principally by direct con- tact with infected pigs, while indirect transmis- sion occurs via contact with fomites, such as equipment and personnel, or following ingestion of infected pig meat or prod- ucts.
The feeding of food scraps or food waste that contains or has come into contact with meat or meat products, known as swill feeding, is illegal in Aus- tralia to prevent a range of diseases.
The carcasses of in- fected pigs have also been linked to the spread of ASF.
This may be an im- portant pathway for the spread of ASF between feral pig populations.
ASFV replicates in Ornithodoros ticks and is transmitted to swine through the bite of the tick, which plays an im- portant role in transmis- sion in Africa.
The potential role of Or- nithodoros and other ticks in Australia is not known. Clinical disease
Disease severity varies greatly and is influenced by host age, herd immu- nity and the strain and virulence of ASFV en- countered.
Pigs infected with ASFV may develop acute, chronic, or subclinical disease, and the clinical signs and case mortality rates are extremely vari- able.
In general, young naive animals are more severely affected, but the emer- gence of less virulent ASFV strains and milder clinical disease reinforces the need for vigilant testing and reporting of all suspect cases.
Clinical signs of acute ASF may include but are not limited to pyrexia be- tween 39.5–42C, inappe-

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