Go vegetarian if toting a lunch box through a hog barn — or at least ensure that wiener or ham sandwich stays off the premises.
So serious is the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF), your leftover hotdog poses a risk of carrying the disease to the domestic hog industry. Ontario Pork has been promoting that message with a “No Meat in Barns” poster intended for display in agricultural lunchrooms.
Such vigilance is required because the ASF pathogen can survive for long periods of time on objects, even frozen and processed meats imported from abroad, OMAFRA Swine Specialist Jaydee Smith writes in a recent bulletin on the subject.
Mainstream pig farmers with knowledge of backyard and occasional pork producers are distributing the posters and other biosecurity fact sheets to those small-scale operators — including information on enrolling in the mandatory Pig Trace program. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency can fine pig owners that don’t comply.
ASF infected some Dominican Republic hog farms last summer, marking the virus’s first appearance in the western hemisphere since 1984, The virus can wipe out entire swine herds. There is no vaccine or treatment.