Efficient biosecurity changes on Russia farms have helped prevent spread of African swine fever
by Claire Mintus, The Pig Site
7 April 2021
Ilia Zubtsov, Genetics and Technical Services Manager for PIC in Russia, spoke about the importance of biosecurity in preventing African swine fever (ASF) at the 2020 Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines, Iowa.
“My message was very straightforward,” said Zubtsov. “When I was preparing for this presentation, I wanted to answer the question, ‘Is life with African swine fever possible or not?’ I showed several statistics and how Russian pork production grew with African swine fever virus, and from 2007 to 2019 pork production grew constantly. So, the answer to the question is yes, absolutely. But you also have to change, and I introduced several changes that we made in the industry, both from the pork production standpoint and the government support standpoint.”
To prevent the spread of ASF, Russia had to make biosecurity a priority. There are two major components to the biosecurity changes Russia made. The first change is that the industry realized they had to do everything they could to protect their farms, but stepping up and changing some existing biosecurity policies and procedures. They also started to train and increase the virus awareness with the farm staff. In 2016, Russia made a second change by implementing compartmentalization and regionalization of ASF areas. Essentially, they created a map of Russia that identified the infected areas, clean areas and gray areas. This allowed them to better control transportation of pigs, people and products, in an effort to ensure that no ASF infection was introduced in clean areas.
“We understand that the people factor is the major risk of bringing the virus onto the farm,” said Ilia Zubtsov...