Interview: Biosecurity as solution to ASF

 

Vincent ter Beek & Judith Waninge, Pig Progress

Nov 6, 2019    

 

The effect of African Swine Fever on North Korea is unknown but since mid-September the virus has also appeared in South Korea. That means busy times for swine breeder Hypor, part of Hendrix Genetics. The company supports its customers with rigorous biosecurity advice.

 

Figures of 50-60% are fairly commonly reported when it is asked how much of the Chinese swine herd has disappeared due to African Swine Fever (ASF). It is feared that similar figures will also apply to various surrounding emerging Asian countries, as the virus has not halted its progress at any border in Asia so far. In September, even South Korea, a well-developed pig country, reported its first outbreaks of the virus. At the time of going to press, the count was at 15 affected sites (see box). All of them within 30 kilometres of the border with North Korea, which is known to be one of the most heavily guarded borders in the world.

 

Pig Progress spoke to Hugues (Hugo) Six, who for the last 2 years has been general manager East & South East Asia at Hypor, Hendrix Genetics’ swine division. As such, he is based in Bangkok and is responsible for the company’s technical, production and commercial activities in Asia, except for China. In South Korea, the company has felt the presence of ASF both directly and indirectly.

 

Pig Progress: In your opinion, how did the virus get across the border ­between North and South Korea?

 

Hugues Six: “Most likely this happened because farmers in North Korea dumped their animals in the Ryesong river, which then floated towards the sea. You can see that some of the first outbreaks in South Korea also happened near where that river meets the ­Yellow Sea.”

 

   We are breeding a ‘robust’ pig that is not as susceptible to disease. Nevertheless, we have to admit that there is no genetic solution for pigs. Nor is there a vaccine. The real solution is biosecurity.” – Hugues Six, Hendrix Genetics.

 

How important is South Korea to Hendrix Genetics?

 

“We are active on the South Korean market through the pig production brand Woorison, the largest vertical integrator in the country, and Farmsworld GGP which distributes our products. It is important to emphasise that both have been negative for ASF so far.”

 

To gain an impression: What is the South Korean pig ­industry like? ...

 

What is the current government strategy to combat the outbreaks? ...

 

Is Hypor working on a genetic solution to make pigs ­immune to ASF? ...

 

Then how does Hendrix Genetics prepare its customers for ASF outbreaks? ...

 

What do the outbreaks in South Korea mean for the business of Hendrix Genetics? ...

 

What is going to be the long-term effect of ASF on pig ­production in Asia in general? ...

 

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https://www.pigprogress.net/Health/Articles/2019/11/Interview-Hendrix-Genetics-On-the-solution-to-ASF-491824E/