State Vet Puts Hog Producers on Alert for African Swine Fever After China Reports Several CasesWed, 29 Aug 2018 12:19:51 CDT
China has reported several recent outbreaks of African Swine Fever, a disease that has not been reported in the U.S. but is very similar to Classical Swine Fever or Hog Cholera as some may know it. Oklahoma State Veterinarian Dr. Rod Hall spoke with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn this week to talk about the threat these outbreaks pose for the US pork industry and to encourage local producers and veterinarians to stay vigilant for any signs of the disease entering hog populations here in the state. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Hall explained that China had originally believed the outbreaks to be contained. However, more cases have since cropped up in different locations around the country, suggesting that containment has not yet been achieved. As an active trade partner with China, Hall says state veterinarians and USDA are working closely to enhance their surveillance and inspection of products from China and other countries. Hall asserts that if the disease were to find its way to our domestic shores, the resulting impacts would cripple the US pork industry.
“Like any foreign animal disease, if we get that here in the US, we lose the ability to export a lot of our products overseas,” Hall said, reiterating that approximately 30 percent of our pork products are sold overseas. “So, I just wanted to alert all pork producers to be on the lookout for this.”
As the name suggests, African Swine Fever only affects pigs and is typically fatal to those animals that become infected.
“It’s a very acute disease that’s very similar in the way it acts to Hog Cholera. A lot of the time, they’ll have a high-fever, they’ll get red inflammatory marks on the body,” he described. “They just get very sick, very quickly and then typically die several days later.”
Hall advises producers and other vets to keep an eye out for the initial symptoms that might include scours, coughing and pneumonia. Hall says most cases will involve multiple animals. One tell-tale sign is for animals to go off feed dramatically or behavior that suggests the animal has a fever, such as staying near standing water. If producers notice any of these signs, Hall requests it be reported immediately.
“Please be aware that we are always at risk of a foreign animal disease incursion and if you see cases that just don’t seem right,” he said, “give your regulatory officials a call so we can help you determine what steps to take next to protect our livestock industries and our livelihood.”
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