ASF Outbreak in Wild Board in Italy Underscores Ease of Movement

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Farmscape for January 19, 2022

Full Interview 9:05 Listen

The Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council says the discovery of African Swine Fever in Wild Boar in Italy should serve as a reminder of how easily this virus can move. African Swine Fever genotype 2 has been found in a group of wild boar in northern Italy and new cases continue be reported in wild boar in Germany. Dr. Egan Brockhoff, the Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council and a member of the Swine Innovation Porc Coordinated African Swine Fever Research Working Group says this virus, largely a human driven virus, is making large geographical leaps occasionally and causing a lot of concern throughout the world.

Clip-Dr. Egan Brockhoff-Canadian Pork Council:
The discovery of ASF genotype 2 in those wild boar in Northern Italy underscored for me how this virus can take large geographical leaps. The closest know positive to that location was approximately 800 kilometers away. So again, we’re put into a situation where human and human activities present a risk. We need to be conscious of that. We can see virus come across the ocean. We could see virus move within the American hemisphere now with the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We do have a wild pig population in Canada and they are at risk, just like our backyard, just like our commercial pigs, all three classes or categories of our pigs are potentially exposed. It would be extremely concerning if we got ASF in our wild pig population because we have no real control of them. They are the most difficult population to manage and control and so we want to do everything we can to keep this virus out of Canada and really ideally out of all of North America.

Dr. Egan Brockhoff says this big jump into Italy should serve as a significant reminder that this virus is a human driven disease and we need to be careful that we’re not the ones carrying the disease with us.

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