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Education: Key to overcome deadly swine virus

Source: Wikimedia Commons

African Swine Fever (ASF) continues its spread, now looking to close in on Indonesia.

The viral disease, wiping out millions of hogs overseas, has yet to enter our shores. 

A veterinarian shares how U.S. producers can further prevent this disease.

Dr. Greg Cline serves as senior key account veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim. He reminds United States producers of the seriousness of African Swine Fever, which he feels should be kept at the forefront of today’s swine discussion. 

“We need to talk about it. We need to keep it first and foremost I would encourage you to work with your herd veterinarian and establish a biosecurity plan. That’s something we can do right now,” Cline said. 

Pharmaceutical companies do not offer a vaccine for African Swine Fever, making eradication difficult. Cline stresses the importance of educating yourself about the disease, which proves challenging on many fronts.

“The thing we can do is prepare and work to keep the virus out of your farm. Educate yourself,” Cline said. “Learn about the virus: What’s going to happen if it’s introduced in the United States, what you can do to keep it out, where the risk factors are. Work with your veterinarian to shore up, audit your biosecurity and educate yourself on things you can do now.”

Cline offers his last piece of advice in saying, “Now is the time to understand and try to prevent.”

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