Stopping the Spread of Exotic Diseases in Porcine Creatures

AUSTRALIA - It is estimated that a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak will cost Australian rural industries more than $13 billion over a ten year period, with up to 70% of losses coming in the first year.
calendar icon 5 October 2006
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The presence of such emerging infections is of paramount consideration in Australia’s international trade of livestock and products, as an exotic diseases (ED) outbreak will create an access barrier to high value markets – leading to lost production, losses in market share, and increased eradication and control costs.

A study published by Blackwell Publishing in the October 2006 issue of Australian Veterinary Journal, (the scientific journal of the Australian Veterinary Association) aims to assess the management factors that would influence the establishment and spread of ED in pigs within the Sydney region in New South Wales – a natural focal point for the study as the region contains a wide variety of agricultural enterprises with a high concentration of intensive production including pig production.

Researchers identified several factors – including the feeding of meat scraps (more commonly known as swill), poor farmer knowledge and the movement of pigs via sale yards – that may facilitate the establishment and spread of vesicular and other ED in pigs.

Researchers collected vendor and purchaser details by attending two sale yards in the Sydney region over a 12 month period and mapped out the pig producer locations. In addition, all pig farmers on the Department of Primary Industries temporary brand register were surveyed to record their management practices and knowledge of exotic pig diseases. Swine brands were also inspected to determine their quality as a tracing mechanism.

Source: Blackwell Publishing

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