Movement of People and Products Blamed For Large Jumps of ASF From Country to Country

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Farmscape for August 15, 2022

Full Interview 8:22 Listen

The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center says recent jumps of African Swine Fever over large distances can be attributed to the movement of people and products rather than pig to pig movement. Concern over the potential spread of African Swine Fever has heightened as the result of long-distance jumps of the virus across Europe Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center and a member of the Swine Innovation Porc Coordinated African Swine Fever Research Working Group, says the most striking thing about the spread of ASF through Europe as well as the risk of movement in other places is the opportunity for spread over great distances by the movement of people or products.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
We just had reports of outbreaks in Germany where ASF has been present on the eastern side of Germany next to Poland, for months or years especially in wild boar. The outbreaks in Germany, the most recent ones that have happened, have been all the way on the western side near France as well as on the northwest near Holland. Those are movements that have occurred not by the typical spread from wild boar or from place to place by pig contact but the lesson that needs to be learned here is that people are spreading ASF also within countries and from country to country around the world. Certainly, part of the issue is movement within countries by pig-to-pig contact and people movement within positive areas but the most concerning thing that we just have to learn the lesson about is the jumping of ASF from one region of the world to another due to the movement of products or people that are carrying those products along and are spreading this virus.

Dr Sundberg says all areas of the world need to be aware of this jumping and need to harden their defences against people being able to move these types of products.

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