Despite COVID, Momentum on ASF Preparedness Continues

Aug 10, 2020

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The Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council says, amid actions to contain the spread of COVID-19 in humans, the effort to guard against the introduction of foreign animal disease has maintained its momentum. Despite the turmoil surrounding COVID-19 efforts to prevent and prepare for African Swine Fever have continued.
Dr. Egan Brockhoff, the Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council and a member of the Swine Innovation Porc Coordinated African Swine Fever Research Working Group, says we're in a much better place than two years ago but the risk is still here.
Clip-Dr. Egan Brockhoff-Canadian Pork Council:
Producers need to focus heavily on their external biosecurity, especially around introduction of food items that may contain foreign animal disease. That remains paramount, continuing to focus your efforts on feed biosecurity and making sure your feed ingredients are ideally North American sourced but, if they can't be, then there's been some sort of quality assurance program to ensure you're buying as safe a product as possible.
There's no question that we can't just focus on ASF. There are many other foreign animal diseases that we need to be attuned to. We still see Classical Swine Fever circulating throughout the world and of course FMD is always a player as well and so we need to constantly be vigilant with those. The great thing around COVID-19 is there's been a lot of research to show that this is a virus that doesn't go into pigs.
It's a virus that pigs can't shed, it's a virus that doesn't cause disease in our pig population and so, in the face of sick workers, we can be reassured that pigs will stay healthy. There's no risk to the food supply chain there and so that's encouraging and it's encouraging that that research was done right away to show pigs weren't suspectable to this virus.
Source : Farmscape