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African Swine Fever spreading rapidly in China

Illegal importation of infected pig products or genetic material is the most likely way for ASF to enter Australia. Help keep Australia ASF free by encouraging:

  • Compliance with state legislation that prohibits swill feeding (the virus can survive for months in food products)
  • Good on farm biosecurity, being especially mindful of risks from visitors and workers coming from overseas.

Above: The spread of ASF since it was first detected in China in August 2018 (Caixin Global Limited)

African Swine Fever is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild pigs.

As the name suggests the disease occurs in African countries south of the Sahara desert.  While there have been reports of ASF in Eastern Europe (Russia and the Ukraine) in the last decade, it was detected in China for the first time in August 2018 and has  spread to 19 provinces by November 2018. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization believes that ASF in China is ‘here to stay’ and that it is almost certain to spread to other Asian countries through movements of infected pork products.

ASF has never occurred in Australia and we’re keen to keep it that way (see orange box).

Australia’s policy in the event of an outbreak is to eradicate the disease in the shortest possible time. Early detection is critical for a rapid and effective response. Classic signs of infection are a high temperature, lethargy, nasal and ocular discharge, coughing and/or breathing difficulties, and blotchy skin lesions. Or pigs can just die suddenly. Mortality rates are high (up to 100%). If you think it’s a possibility, ring your state or territory government veterinarians directly or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline (1800 675 888).