- But we do need the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the CFIA to step up to the challenge and think about visitors from China more – even more dogs at the airport would help,” said International livestock consultant and veterinarian Dr. John Carr who also lectures in Austrailia where he lives. “Poland had ASF for 5 to 10 years or more – they kind of have it under control as it’s mainly in the wild boars.”
- The airport picture. That is an airport in England that my wife Judith and I flew through in may 2017.
- Dr. Carr…
HS: Dr. Carr calls for CFIA to increase biosecurity at the Point of Entries to stop AFS from coming in
By Harry Siemens
With the continued spread of African swine fever across hog facilities in China and now into Eastern Europe concern about African swine fever keeps elevating.
Under Secretary of Agriculture, Greg Ibach said the USDA is elevating efforts to keep this viral disease of swine out of the United States. Now, it doesn’t affect humans, but when pigs get it, it’s nearly 100 per cent fatal. It spreads easily. No cure. No preventative vaccine.
“We’ve upped our surveillance at the border in cooperation with Customs and Border Protection,” said Ibach. “With help from the USDA’s beagle brigade, specially trained dogs that can sniff out things that people are coming into the US should not be bringing in with them. The other day, one beagle led inspectors of the Atlanta airport right to a roasted pig’s head in the luggage of somebody coming in from Ecuador. That head could have carried the African swine fever virus. And so, it’s those types of screenings that we need to have in place to keep it off of North American soil.”
He said Heaven forbid and if it did get into commercial hog facilities here, it could cause huge losses for the US pork industry.
“We’re working every day to expand our ability to be able to react quickly if the virus would show up in the US,” said the Under Secretary.
International livestock consultant and veterinarian Dr. John Carr who also lectures in Austrailia where he lives said Poland had ASF for 5 to 10 years or more – they kind of have it under control as its mainly in the wild boars.
“But unfortunately it had slow spread westward and then ultimately into Germany – about 5-10 more years I think,” said Carr.
When the Japanese detected the ASF virus in luggage at Hokkaido airport, Japan he said that’s great news for Japan but a wake-up call for the rest of us.
“The Japanese had on heightened alert after their classical swine fever outbreak some time ago,” said Dr. Carr. “But we do need the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the CFIA to step up to the challenge and think about visitors from China more – even more dogs at the airport would help.”
Back in the US, if ASF would show up that is where USDA’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Jack Shere would take the lead. So, if the disease were to show up in a hog facility here, here is the first step.
“Immediately quarantine the herd. Stop movement and contract of localized animals. If there were movements from that herd, we would trace those animals out and stop the movement of those animals also, so that we can control or stop the spread of the disease as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Shere. “If widespread, we may be looking at a national stop movement for up to 72 hours to find out where the diseased animals moved and how widespread that infection could be so that we can respond without endangering the rest of the herds in the United States.”
Meanwhile, for infected facilities, there would be rapid depopulation, culling, and planning a process to dispose of the carcass and then clean and disinfect the facility to eradicate the virus.
Dr. Shear said so far the preventative measures have kept ASF out of the US, but they’re putting hog producers on full alert now to boost their biosecurity measures and to keep a close eye on their herds. Also, to report immediately any unusual mortality of other problems just in case.
Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network Manager Dr. Jette Christensen said no doubt is preventing ASF from entering Canada revolves around biosecurity and there are five pathways along which African Swine Fever could enter Canada.
Of course, with live animals, semen and embryos, that is the highway into Canada. If we import live animals, semen or embryos infected with ASF we are almost guaranteed to get it,” said Dr. Christensen. “The other pathway is food, food scraps; swill feeding is a bad idea. Feed ingredients could either be contaminated directly with AFS because the virus is in the ingredients or it could be on bags and other equipment transporting the feed.”
She said the fourth is people travelling, and fifth wildlife is a method that has spread African Swine Fever in Europe.