Over the last while there has been much discussion about African Swine Fever (ASF). Every meeting we attend or hear about is dominated by African Swine fever talk.
So why is it a reportable disease? We understand this has been put in place by OIE decades ago. It’s been in Africa for decades (probably how ASF got its name). It was in Spain and Portugal in the 1960’s-1970’s before it was eradicated.
This variation of ASF entered Europe in 1995 in the country of Georgia, and since that time it has spread into Russia, Eastern Europe and now China. No country has been able to eliminate the ASF since the Georgian break of 2005.
What we find interesting and we question; Why is ASF a reportable disease. ASF causes no risk to human health. It causes financial losses but so does prrs, ped, app etc.
The greatest financial risk of ASF is the closing of borders to trade due to it being a reportable disease. It has been estimated that in Canada that an ASF break would lead to financial losses in the pork sector of $30 billion. A huge amount that would lead to unparalleled amount of bankruptcies even with a massive budget busting government financial aid. We expect knowing U.S. export levels of 26-27% of all production a $30 billion loss would not be out of the question. ASF is a huge risk to Canada, USA, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands etc.
Borders closing for trade would be a disaster for all countries.
We have been doing business in Russia for a decade. We have observed ASF effects.
Russia has about 1.8 million sows.
Over the last ten years we estimate 100 thousand sows have been destroyed with their followers in Russia due to ASF.
100 thousand sows x 20 hogs marketed per year is a loss of production of 2 million hogs.
(PED loss in North America was 8 million head?)
We estimate that PRRS cuts total production by 5% per year in Russia.
1.8 million sows x 20 hogs marketed a year= 36 million a year x ten years = 360 million hogs and at 5% mortality from PRRS = 18 million pigs lost to PRRS over the last ten years.
Russia- PRRS 18 million head lost, ASF 2 million over last ten years.
Certainly anyone could argue these numbers but we believe no doubt PRRS is worse than ASF for mortality.
So why is ASF a reportable disease? Borders close and its huge financial damage. There is no human health risk. Is this like assisted suicide?
Is this the time before ASF strikes Canada U.S.A., Spain, Germany, Denmark, Brazil, Netherlands etc. to push to take ASF off as a reportable disease?