Pork Producers Advised to be Mindful of Disease Risk Posed by Feral Wild Pigs

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Farmscape for March 18, 2019

Full Interview 19:40 Listen

A Professor with the University of Saskatchewan is advising pork producers to be mindful of the risk of the potential for disease transmission as the result of interactions among domestic farmed pigs and feral wild pigs. Concern over Canada’s expanding wild pig population has been heightened as the result of the spread of African Swine Fever in China, other parts of Asia and Europe Dr. Ryan Brook, a Professor in the College Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, says there hasn’t been much in the way of disease testing so we don’t have a lot of knowledge yet and there hasn’t been any testing for any of the key reportable diseases that we might be particularly worried about and without testing the risk is difficult to estimate.

Clip-Dr. Ryan Brook-University of Saskatchewan:
Disease is something we should be, I think, really mindful of especially in the context of what that might mean in terms of disease contact with domestic livestock and that can be cattle on pasture which is probably where we see more overlap but backyard pig operations and other livestock definitely have potential contact. Anywhere where there’s feed there’s a chance of pigs coming in and feeding and having some potential indirect contact there.
African Swine Fever, which has been a real concern emerging in China and through other places in Europe and Asia has been a real concern. The concern so far in North America has not found cases and that is very positive news but the potential for transport is there. Certainly in both Europe and Asia they know that wild boar are infected and may play some role in the transmission of the disease. Certainly if it gets into wild pigs in Canada control efforts will be infinitely harder than what would be the case on a domestic farm.

Dr. Brook says we do know of free ranging wild pigs jumping the fence and moving in and staying on farms with your average pink domestic pigs so the interaction does occur.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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