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African Swine Fever Raises Concern, Biosecurity Standards Set To Be Placed in Order

A pig-killing disease is setting new variants; it has killed approx a billion pigs worldwide.

Australia’s chief vet Mark Schipp stated the new variant could have been set using an illegal vaccine. He said, “As with any virus, we suppose that there will be evolution and mutations of the virus in new surroundings, and it may be that this is a common change.”

“The deletions are being used to develop vaccines are the same deletions that we see in this virus.”

Swine Fever of Africa still does not have any vaccine. Dr Schipp said, “To form a vaccine, they have been removing specific genes, and these particular gene deletions are some of those we see in the new variant, so it may be that this is coming from the illicit use of vaccines.”

After the Chinese New Year celebrations, the Federal Government calls for raised biosecurity to assure African swine fever (ASF), does not enter Australia. It is a virus that would destroy the pork industry. Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said, “Variants are confirming less apparent symptoms of the disease, increasing the possibility of it going uncontrolled and undetected.”

He said, “the new variant is creating fewer fatality.”

“ASF is a disease of slow growth, reduced fertility, and chronic fatigue. So if we are relying on viewing many of dead pigs as the primary sign, we are not going to see that sign.”

Mr Littleproud said, “the following few weeks could be crucial for preventing the deadly disease out.”

According to a study funded by Australian Pork Limited, more than 11,600 outbreaks of ASF have been detected in Asia since 2018, and incursion in Australia could cost the domestic economy up to $2 billion over five years. ASF is a viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs but not humans. There are presently more than 3,000 continuing outbreaks of ASF in Asia.

In addition to high fever, signs carry haemorrhages on the skin and internal bleeding and the virus is expected to have hit 800 million pigs globally.