Hog disease prevalence is on the rise globally. There have been more than 100 cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) reported in China to date. To a lesser extent, the disease has moved into Poland and Belgium. ASF is being blamed for an infected pig carcass washing on shore in Taiwan, and Classical Swine Fever has led to the culling of 7,500 pigs in Japan, where a sixth case of Classical Swine Fever was discovered. In Australia, contaminated meat products were detected and seized during routine inspections at the country’s airports and mail processing centres.
Alberta Pork and other organizations have been steadfast in providing disease-related information. In September 2018, a town hall teleconference was held on ASF, and advisories have been released for on-farm biosecurity protocols, including assessments and personnel downtime, along with international travel.
Disease origins are often difficult to pinpoint, but there is strong indication that feral pigs can be a significant route for the transmission and dissemination of many swine diseases. A team of researchers from the University of Saskatchewan is showing that these animals are on the move, increasingly in greater numbers, wreaking havoc from Manitoba to Alberta.
“Wild boars” were originally brought to Canada in the 1980s. The current feral pig population is composed of individuals that have escaped captivity. These invasive animals are not native to North America and in the wild are harmful to the environment, wildlife, livestock and crops. Because they are intelligent, hardy creatures, eradication has proven elusive. At the end of 2018, a five-year grace period ended for producers raising wild boar to install electrified fencing on their premises.
If you spot a feral pig in Alberta, contact 310-FARM (3276). All efforts should be taken to eliminate contact between feral pigs and livestock. Landowners may kill feral pigs on their own property without a hunting license.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact Javier Bahamon, Quality Assurance and Production Manager, Alberta Pork by email at email@example.com or by phone at 780-469-8982, toll-free at 1-877-247-PORK (7675).