The current pandemic of African Swine Fever (ASF) has caused major losses to the swine industry worldwide. Compartmentalization is one of the available tools to address the threat to business continuity posed by ASF to the industry. Although compartments have been implemented for various diseases and production types, no ASF-free swine compartment has been published by OIE to date.
First, we outline the advantages of the approach as well as general challenges for implementation of an ASF-free swine compartment. ASF risk management ranges from prevention, preparedness and early detection activities in disease-free territories to response and eradication after disease introduction has occurred. We discuss the role for zoning and compartmentalisation within this spectrum and specific challenges associated with compartmentalisation (e.g., zero downtime, acceptance by the Veterinary Authority and trading partners).
Then, we discuss two aspects of compartmentalization which are central for successful implementation: biosecurity and disease surveillance, using an illustrative example from North America. Both components are designed to provide evidence that compartment products are free from ASF virus. Biosecurity should be sufficient to mitigate the risk of introduction of virus via all potential routes such as people, fomites, live pigs, pork products and proximity pathways. Implementation of biosecurity measures should be thoroughly documented and auditable. Options for disease surveillance include barn-based observational surveillance, which is able to both support early detection and demonstrate freedom from ASF.
Last, we discuss the relevant stakeholders, roles and responsibilities involved in the development of an effective national ASF compartmentalisation programme. Such programme should include a governance structure, standards for biosecurity, surveillance and traceability, auditing requirements and national ASF surveillance. While integrated swine production systems lend themselves well to compartmentalization, substantial work is required to develop such a programme. Benefits go beyond ASF preparedness, including an improved partnership between industry and government.
Do you know global examples of compartmentalization in the pig sector that address ASF control?
You mentioned that managing the transition between peace time and applying the compartimentalization is essential. What would be your recommendations to do so?
Thanks a lot,
In addition to biosecurity and surveillance, how human behavior may impact success or failure of compartmentalization strategy? Have this factor considered in your case study?