African swine fever in other countries
African swine fever is very contagious and is killing pigs and wild boars in Africa, Asia and parts of Europe.
African swine fever has never been detected in Canada, but it present in:
- African countries
- Czech Republic
- Myanmar (Burma)
- North Korea
After an outbreak in the Republic of Georgia in 2007, the virus has been spreading through the Caucasus region, the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe. Cases in the wild boar population in Belgium have been reported to the World Animal Health Organization.
Since 2007 nearly 1 million pigs in Europe have been culled for ASF.
Canada is taking the necessary precautions to prevent the virus from entering Canada.
Pork from any affected zone or any region bordering an affected zone is banned.
Canada imports frozen pork from regions of Poland and Hungary that are free of ASF.
The EU zoning map is being used to avoid importing from contaminated or high-risk zones.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has reviewed, and it is confident in the EU’s zoning system for ASF.
The highest risk factor from Europe is travellers coming in contact with the virus and bringing it back to Canada on their clothes and footwear, and people smuggling in infected pork and pork products.
The first outbreak of ASF in China was confirmed on August 3, 2018. The virus has spread over a vast area of China. Multiple outbreaks have been reported. Containing the virus is a serious challenge in a country that owns almost half of the world’s domestic pigs. Their current pig production system ranges from modern, large-scale units to backyard farms, which contribute to 27 percent of the national production.
Several factors complicate the containment of the virus in China:
lack of biosecurity
high density of wild boars
farmers illegally sending sick pigs to market in an attempt to avoid economic losses
pork products being fed to backyard pigs.
Because of China’s endemic status for Foot and Mouth Disease, Canada does not import live pigs or pork products from China, with the exception of Chinese dumplings. These are produced and cooked in Chinese plants that have been approved by CFIA, and the pork used does not originate from China.
The highest risk factor from China is the importation of feed, travellers coming into contact with the virus and bringing it back to Canada on their clothes and footwear, and people smuggling in infected pork and pork products.
Canada imports feed and feed ingredients (vitamins, amino acids, proteins) and these products and/or their packaging could pose a risk as demonstrated in a study published in 2018 by Dr. Scott Dee et al. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5860775/) Certain viral pathogens of livestock have shown the capacity to survive in animal feed under conditions simulating transportation for an extended period of time.