Farmers: How to protect your pigs from African swine fever

by | May 7, 2023 | Uncategorized

African swine fever (ASF) is one of the biggest threats to farmers and the pork industry in Canada. Fortunately, the deadly disease isn’t here yet – but that doesn’t mean you should let down your guard.

No matter the size of your farm or how many pigs you have, ASF could affect you. Here are some steps you can take to protect you and your animals:

Learn how it spreads. ASF is not transmitted to humans, but even a small amount of the highly contagious virus could infect your pigs. It can spread between pigs through contact with other infected pigs or pork products, as well as contaminated farm equipment, feed and clothing.

Carefully source animal feed. Make sure you know where your pigs’ food comes from. Buy feed from a trusted supplier with proper biosecurity controls who is able to provide information on the ingredients and their origin. Be cautious when feeding any food or kitchen waste to your pigs and never feed them any meat products.

Avoid contact with wild pigs. All types of pigs, whether wild or kept as pets, companions or farm animals, are susceptible to ASF. So, make sure there is no direct or indirect contact between your pigs and wild pigs. Keep your farm surrounded by a fence with a gate that can be securely closed and locked.

Stay vigilant with people and tools. Be alert when people visit or work on your farm. Clothes and shoes could be contaminated with ASF, especially if people have returned from countries with ASF within the past 14 days. Regularly clean your barns, vehicles and equipment – especially items that are shared or borrowed.

Be diligent when buying pigs. Only get animals from reputable sources and limit how often you introduce new pigs to the herd. ASF can be spread through diseased swine or healthy swine incubating the virus. Always isolate new pigs before introducing them to the farm population.

Find more information at inspection.canada.ca/asf-biosecurity

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