Agribusiness Newsletter - Australian Pig Industry
Should Australia’s Pig Industry be worried about African Swine Fever?
What you need to know to protect your business from the inevitable.
If we track the gradual spread of this disease in Europe over the past 10 years, it can been seen that, despite best efforts made by farmers and governments to prevent African Swine Fever reaching their domestic pig herds, these measures have generally failed.
Interestingly, the challenges faced in Europe have been somewhat different from those now emerging in Asia. In Europe, a large population of wild pigs made the task of limiting the spread of the disease through official movement restrictions all but redundant. The proposals to build perimeter fences that stretched hundreds of kilometres have also been seen as being mostly futile attempts at preventing the disease from moving across borders.
By contrast, the spread of the disease in Asia appears to be different. The region probably has very little left of its wild pig population, but from North to South, an approximate 580 million pigs can be found on Asian farms.
Pig farming in Asia remains predominantly practised by smallholder farms and this has been the principal cause attributed to the rapid spread of ASF. A lack of understanding of basic biosecurity concepts and continued swill feeding practices have all but guaranteed that ASF was going to develop differently in Asia.
In parts of Asia, panic set in with both animal health authorities and pig farmers congregating regularly to find out about the latest developments and measures taken, which has undoubtedly lead to a faster spread of the disease. Farmers inadvertently carrying the disease on their shoes and clothing back to their farms, fueled a faster proliferation of the virulent disease.
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This Newsletter provides interesting insights into the options available to Australia’s
pig industry to protect itself against the financial impact of African Swine Fever.
The topics covered include:
- Is Australia ready for African Swine Fever?
- How the disease has spread throughout Europe and Asia
- Providing coverage for Australia’s pig industry - what you can do to protect your business against the financial impact of ASF