3 Basic Steps to stop African Swine Fever From Killing Your Pigs
Many producers have heard about the threat, but African swine fever can look like many other pig diseases, so it’s easy to overlook the signs and symptoms. That can pose a huge threat to your pigs and the nation’s swine population. Protecting your herd requires vigilance.
Biosecurity comes down to people knowing, understanding, and following rules and protocols. It’s important to work with your veterinarian and staff to prevent the disease rather than risk the destruction of your entire herd and devastation to the nation’s food supply and economy.
3 key biosecurity steps to protect your pigs
Focusing on these three critical biosecurity steps can help keep African swine fever from culling your herd and livelihood:
1. Limit on-farm traffic.
The fewer people and vehicles on your farm and in your facilities, the better. Restrict access to your barn to those who care for your pigs. Keep detailed records of all people, vehicles, and equipment on your property. Don’t let anyone who has been in an African swine fever-affected country onto your farm for at least five days after their return.
2. Ongoing communications about biosecurity practices.
You can’t overdo it. Set up ongoing biosecurity training and regularly discuss prevention practices with everyone, especially with new employees. If they don’t speak English, make biosecurity information and training available in their language. All managers, workers, and visitors need to be clear about rules. This includes handwashing, shower-in/shower-out protocols, respecting lines of separation, cleaning and disinfecting practices for all equipment and vehicles, wildlife control, and carcass disposal.
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3. Prohibit anyone eating in animal areas.
The African swine fever virus survives for extended periods in pork and pork meat products and can be a source of spread. Keep all outside food products confined to a specific area of the facility away from animals. Ensure grain and feed are delivered, stored, and fed in ways to prevent contamination.
Protecting our pigs from African swine fever requires that we all stay vigilant, stay safe, and stay informed. It’s a matter of livelihood and death.