African Swine Fever
African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs.
The clinical signs of ASF range from mild to severe depending on the strain of virus. With the severe form, almost all affected pigs die. There is no approved vaccine against ASF.
Late last year a particularly severe outbreak of disease began in China, and other nearby countries have also recently become infected - including Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines. Border security inspections in a number of countries, including Australia, have identified ASF test-positive pork products in the baggage of some arriving passengers.
As far as we are aware, it is not present in New Zealand and we want to keep it that way.
Clinical veterinarians are on the front-line of animal health surveillance for biosecurity in New Zealand. You have an important role to play. Early detection of any exotic disease is critical for a rapid and effective response.
If you suspect a pig may be affected by ASF, call the MPI exotic disease hotline immediately: 0800 80 99 66.
Learn more about the disease, including information on the clinical signs of ASF at https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/readiness/african-swine-fever/.
Stop the swill
To help the biosecurity effort you can also remind your pig owning clients about the dangers of feeding meat to pigs. In New Zealand, it is illegal to feed pigs meat – or any products that have come into contact with meat – unless it has been cooked at 100 degrees (boiled, essentially) for one hour.
Viruses like ASF can survive in meat that has not been properly cooked.