Friday , July 23 2021

Natural Day African swine fever: prevention is better than offspring

If the pig population is infected with African swine fever (AVP), around 99 to 100 percent of wild boar is present. AVP is a very serious threat to the native population of wild boar in the Netherlands. Apart from our native wild boar population, this disease is also a serious threat to pig farms in the Netherlands. If the virus appears in the Netherlands, it will have large ecological and economic consequences and even now, before the disease is detected in the Netherlands, the consequences have been seen, for example by allowing hunting methods and allowing the use of silencers in cases of wild boar hunting. This fact encourages the Mammal Society to formulate positions on how to deal with AVP threats on the basis of the starting point of the Mammal Society and specifically determine the actions needed to provide the pig population in the Netherlands with a sustainable future. .

The number of pigs per municipality (blue ball, CBS source) and the presence of wild boar in the Netherlands (red dot). Along the west of the Veluwe and on the East Brabant / Midden-Limburg pig farm in the current pig habitat

Prevent the route of human infection: cleanliness

The most important contamination route is people's activities. Therefore outbreak prevention mainly lies in preventing contamination of wild boar with AVP by human activities. To prevent contamination of wild boar, but also raising pigs, with AVP, it is important to avoid contact with wild boar by not entering species habitat off the beaten track. If access to off-lane and road habitat is needed in connection with management activities, hunting, research or others, work in accordance with strict hygiene protocols and clean clothes and footwear afterwards.

Prevent animal route of infection: multiple tissues

The most important route of contamination of pigs and boars is humans, but contamination from animals to animals is also possible. It is therefore very important that keeping pigs separate from wild boar, for example, double fences. Open agricultural systems must invest maximally in multiple isolation and fencing measures, because maintenance of guarded pigs is not a structural measure. Running out of pig houses is an important part of the company's philosophy for open agriculture and also socially desirable.

Besides that, pig hobbies must be well protected.

Fight infection point: isolate contaminated habitat

If it happens that wild boar populations are contaminated with AVP, the Czech approach is a good measure: isolation / isolation of contaminated wild boar habitat. This prevents the spread of infected pigs and maximizes rest in an area. Forcing additional classes upfront is therefore counterproductive. Preserving calm in the area prevents infected wild boar from being hunted and ends outside the protected habitat. The population in protected areas must be considered lost. Pigs will almost all die because of AVP. The remaining pigs must also be fired from time to time to eradicate the virus.

In short: prevent the introduction of viruses and isolate them quickly after infection

In short, the position of the Mammal Community is that everything must be done to prevent contamination of wild boar with AVP. Most attention must be paid to the human infection route, because the biggest risk is in this area. If AVP is still detected in wild boar populations, rapid and tight isolation from habitat is needed. If additional classes are needed after that, this must be done by or under the direction of professional organizations such as site managers or (semi) authorities. In the case of population reduction, methods such as catch cages should be prioritized over offspring. The current threat from AVP calls for preparation of regional (updated) plans for the management of wild boar populations. The province is responsible for this in the first place.

Further information

Text: Maurice La Haye, Mammal Society
Photo: Maaike Plomp (main photo: wild boar); Ellen from Norren

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