SAFOSO in collaboration with South African Pork Producers' Organisation assessed the current African Swine Fever (ASF) pig compartment system in South Africa based on the perception of farm managers and veterinarians of the risk of ASF introduction. Although the overall management system appears to be robust, certain gaps were identified, and SAFOSO prepared associated recommendations to close those gaps.
Since ASF compartments are held to specific standards for biosecurity in the interest of business continuity in the face of national ASF outbreaks, identifying the gaps in biosecurity measures that could allow for the introduction of ASF into compartments is of critical importance to the swine industry of South Africa. Closing those gaps will help to further improve the compartment system.
ASF has resurged in domestic pigs in South Africa since 2019 and is continuing to spread with the most recent reported event on 30 June 2021 in Gauteng Province (FAO EMPRES-i, 2021). Compartments with gaps in biosecurity in combination with their locations relative to the ASF control zone and other ASF-affected farms may be especially at risk of ASF introduction.
Recommendations to address these gaps include strengthening existing or implementing new biosecurity measures relevant to the identified risk factors in critical compartments through discussion with the farm managers and veterinarians. Potential gaps in knowledge of compartment personnel can be addressed through capacity development on specific training topics such as recognition of ASF clinical signs and transmission pathways. Through strengthening the understanding of compartment personnel of the underlying reasons for biosecurity measures can thereby strengthen compliance and reporting of suspect ASF cases.
The standards for all current and future compartment units in South Africa are currently being evaluated based on the recommendations prepared by SAFOSO.
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