Upgrades at breeding centre protect sector

March 20 2022 - 3:10am
VECTOR: Japanese encephalitis spreads through mosquito-waterbird or mosquito-waterbird-pig cycles.

ROBUST biosecurity practices in place at the recently upgraded SA Artificial Breeding Centre are helping to protect the South Australian pork industry from the impacts of Japanese encephalitis.

JE, which is not a food safety concern, was detected in piggeries in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales in February before being detected in a South Australian piggery in early March.

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The most common signs of JE in piggeries are stillborn, mummified or weak piglets, which can include tremors and convulsions. It can also cause infertility in boars.

JE spreads through mosquito-waterbird or mosquito-waterbird-pig cycles.

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SABOR chair and SA pig veterinarian Barry Lloyd said SABOR's quarantine system was 'first-rate' with strong protections in place against JE transfer through boar semen, as well as other serious diseases such as African Swine Fever.

"Since 1998, SABOR's off-site quarantine facility has been used to isolate boars coming into the facility to monitor for disease over an eight-week period," he said.

"With JE, we are dealing with viremia in the blood which can last from two to 11 days.

"However, if we brought in a boar from an infected farm, JE would be well and truly out of its system by the time it was transferred to the SABOR artificial insemination sheds because it has been at the quarantine station for eight weeks."

Also, all the quarantine station pens are completely cleaned out regularly.

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