African swine fever is decimating the pork industry. But you can protect yourself
To safeguard your animal facilities and feed mills against African swine fever virus (ASF), adopt three pillars of defense — and a proactive, persistent attitude.
The figures are stark: a quarter of all pigs in the world died in 2019 due to African swine fever (ASF). “This virus is a threat to livelihoods, to economies, to an entire industry and its associated value chains,” noted Kundhavi Kadiresan, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
As the virus spreads to new markets (by a host of vectors, including infected wild boars), with 75% of world pork production at risk in 26 countries, the race is on to find treatments. Progress has been made in developing candidate vaccines. But the silver bullet solution for ASF — which scientists have been searching for since its first known outbreak outside of Africa in 1957 — has not yet appeared. In fact, we may need to wait for close to a decade before a vaccine reaches the market.
So for now, what is the solution? How can pork producers defend their animals and their livelihoods? We believe it comes down to three pillars.
1. Farm biosecurity
Implementing biosafety, from correct disinfection procedures to using only dedicated work clothing, is your first line of defense. (For a more detailed list of measures, click here)
However, a common mistake people make is that they allow their biosecurity measures to exist more on paper than in practicality.
Writing it down is easy. Strict, 24/7 implementation is another matter. Yet it is vital to follow through on your routines, because once those measures slip, mistakes happen and your grip against ASF can spiral out of control.
2. Pig immunity
With Provimi’s expertise in nutrition strategies, including specific feed additives and ingredients, we know the importance of strengthening pig immunity. While the mortality rate of ASF is high, strong, healthy pigs have a better chance of surviving an outbreak.
And on a larger scale, enhancing the immunity of your herd means greater chances of survival and overcoming cross-contamination. To that end, Provimi has developed a solution that can help strengthen and support the animal’s immune defense, and improve gut health to maintain a healthier digestive environment.
3. Feed safety
Some producers choose not to invest in pig feed because it is deemed a lower-risk vector for the disease. However, the impact once ASF is present in feed is very high. Ensuring that you buy feed from reputable, traceable suppliers, with quality products that boost nutrition, should be a cornerstone of your ASF survival plan.
But what if you want additional peace of mind? We have solutions that have demonstrated efficacy in deactivating enveloped viruses such as those that cause Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PEDV) and ASF. This can help reduce the risk of feed contamination.
To learn more about our immunity and feed safety solutions, contact your local Provimi representative.
It’s crucial to cover all bases
Protection works best if it is 360-degrees, implementing each of the pillars above. If you do so, success is possible, even in the most high-risk environments.
We have seen a customer in China, that embodies this rigorous approach. Staff manually disinfected pig transport trucks, right down to the pedals . The farm restricted visitors, built quarantine facilities and reduced the number of replacement pigs coming in. It also strictly surveyed incoming ingredients. Through these measures and more they survived, even while they were surrounded by ASF-stricken farms nearby.
Your attitude matters as much as your actions
While it helps to have a modern and advanced facility full of high-tech measures, it is more important to have a strong mindset. There are no guarantees when it comes to an outbreak as severe as this, but with resolve and resilience you can survive — and even thrive.
We have 60 years of experience in supporting the pork industry’s fight against ASF.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT US