Biosecurity Recap: Top 10 Prevention Articles of 2019

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With the threat of African swine fever across the globe, biosecurity is more important now than ever. Here’s a recap of our most-read biosecurity-focused articles from 2019.

1. Cargill Closes Feed Mills in China Due to African Swine Fever      

Cargill Inc has closed animal-feed mills in China in recent months partly because of the devastating spread of African swine fever (ASF) that has reduced demand.

“This is not a six-month trend for China to recover,” Chuck Warta, president of Cargill’s animal nutrition and pre-mix business, said in an interview with Reuters. “This is a 24-month, 36-month kind of resetting of the world’s population of animals.” Read more.

2. Gangs in China Fake Outbreaks of African Swine Fever    

Criminal gangs are faking outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in China on farms free of the disease and causing farmers to sell healthy pigs at sharply lower prices, the Chinese agriculture ministry said on Friday.

The gangs are taking advantage of this deadly virus that has overtaken much of China while disrupting the world’s largest pork market. Read more.

3. African Swine Fever Causes $20-Million Losses a Month in Philippines   

African swine fever (ASF) is triggering nearly $20 million in losses a month in the Philippine hog industry, agricultural officials said on Friday. 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s office issued a statement late on Thursday urging a joint effort to manage, contain and control the disease that is also wreaking havoc on hog industries in China and other Asian countries. Read more.

4. Perspectives in Progress Panel Takes a Stand on Biosecurity

If you see something, say something. That’s the guiding principal that Mike Doran, COO of Swine Genetics International, and managing partner of a 40,000-pig-per-year commercial swine operation shared with the crowd of people attending The Exposition live hog show in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 6.

Before the grand champion barrow drive, the National Junior Swine Association and Team Purebred youth organizations stopped the show for “Perspectives in Progress,” a panel of four industry experts led by Dr. Brett Kaysen, assistant vice president of sustainability at the National Pork Board. The panel’s charge: discuss biosecurity in the swine industry. Read more.

5. African Swine Fever: New Cases in Philippines, South Korea, China

New cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been detected in the Philippines. On Monday, the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture said new cases have been reported, such as in a village in Antipolo, Rizal, east of the Philippine capital Manila, and some areas in central Luzon.

The country now has 12 villages with backyard farms affected by the disease — two in Metro Manila and 10 in nearby Rizal and Bulacan provinces — excluding those central Luzon areas that Agriculture Secretary William Dar declined to identify. Read more.

6. Veterinarians Say Dog Rescue Groups May Unintentionally Raise ASF Risk

A recent article published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) outlines how state veterinarians and industry experts are working to assess disease risk posed by dog rescue groups bringing dogs into the U.S. from overseas.  

Part of the problem is that the groups often don’t understand import regulations fully while bringing the dogs into the U.S. Veterinarians and state officials are concerned that dogs and their carriers could bring with them pathogens, especially the African swine fever (ASF) virus responsible for killing entire pig herds in China and Eastern Europe. Read more.

7. African Swine Fever: The Fire Rages On

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since African swine fever (ASF) struck the world’s largest pig herd in the world’s largest pork-consuming country. 

The devastation caused by this disease is expected to affect global animal protein production for more than five years, a recent Rabobank report says. In China alone, pork production is projected to take more than five years to recover to prior production levels. Some experts like Brett Stuart, president of Global AgriTrends, don’t believe it’s possible for China to return to the level of pork production it had prior to ASF. Read more.

8. Overhe(a)rd: ASF 101, Protect the Farm from Activists and Bacon Trucks

We’re all ears this week as Jennifer Shike, editor for Farm Journal’s PORK, joins us for the Have You He(a)rd? News Update to separate facts and fiction about African swine fever (AFS.) Millennial meat eater Amelia shares her feelings about meat and dairy. And security experts Jim Rovers and Sophie Cranley explore how farms can safeguard their facilities from activists. Read more.  

9. Underground ASF Vaccines in China: What’s the Risk?

Unauthorized experimental vaccines against African swine fever (ASF) are being used on some pig farms in China, creating concern because of their varying levels of efficacy, reports Bloomberg.

Although no vaccine has been proven effective and safe against this deadly virus that affects both domestic and wild pigs, at least three illegally procured products have been used to immunize millions of hogs, the article said. Read more.

10. Australia on Alert as ASF Spreads Through Neighboring Country

The small Pacific nation of East Timor is restricting the movement of pigs in an effort to contain African swine fever (ASF), the East Timor agricultural ministry said on Monday after reporting multiple outbreaks of the deadly virus.

Since early September, the country has reported more than 100 outbreaks, killing a total of 405 backyard pigs from smallholders’ farms in the Dili region. Read more.