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Aujeszky’s disease confirmed on French farm

14 May 2019, at 9:00am

According to the Swine Disease Global Surveillance Report, Aujeszky’s disease (AD) was detected and confirmed in two free-range pig farms in the south of France.

The report, which is produced in part with the University of Minnesota and the Swine Health Information Center, explains that the animals did not show any clinical signs of the disease. However, the animals were producing antibodies for the virus. The antibodies were detected as part of regular serological surveillance carried out in slaughterhouses.

The report posits that the cause of the first infection was contact with wild boars, and the second infection was epidemiologically linked to the first (though the purchase of fattening pork). Further investigation into the incident has shown that the infected pigs came from a breeding farm. State authorities have indicated that the whole herds will be slaughtered.

France is considered free of AD in pig farming; however, the virus is present in Europe’s wild boar population. There have been previous outbreaks of Aujeszky’s disease in March 2018, however occasional cases of AD do not affect France’s disease-free status.

According to the report, “vaccination [against AD] is prohibited, as serology is the tool used in the surveillance plan to detect infected animals, that act as reservoirs of the disease”. In this case, wild boar are the primary reservoir for many communicable diseases that could impact the commercial pork industry. The researchers urge producers to adhere to strict biosecurity measures in order to avoid wildlife contamination in commercial herds.

The full report can be read here.

Thumbnail provided courtesy of Forest Stewardship Council.