ASF spreads to Italy
African Swine Fever has been found in another European country. The World Organization for Animal Health or OIE says a wild boar found in the Italian province of Alessandria was found to have the disease on January 7th, and two more carcasses are being tested for the disease. Dr. Paul Sundberg is with the Swine Health Information Center. “They have ASF in wild boars. They haven’t found it in their commercial herds, so that’s an important distinction.”
Sundberg tells Brownfield it will be important to learn exactly how ASF arrived in Italy. “The real deal for the U.S. in this is not just to say, oh, yeah, they got it, then let’s go on, but to figure out how they got it, and why they got it because that will help inform us to make sure that we do everything we can do to close that window and not let it get in here.”
The northern Italian region reportedly has a strong risk of spread linked to the excessive proliferation of wild boars.
Sundberg says ASF is not a human food safety issue, but it is deadly for pigs, so maintaining strong biosecurity measures and preventing contact with foreign people and feed ingredients that may carry the virus is vital to keeping the disease out of North America.