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Characterization of pig production in Sardinia and its relationship with ASF presence

Conference in 10th Annual Meeting Epizone "Going Viral"

September 28th, 2016

Jurado C., Mur L., Fernandez-Carrion E., Rolesu S., Laddomada A. and Sanchez-Vizcaino JM.

Agriculture is an important sector in Sardinia that generates together with fishing and silviculture more than 900 million € on average per year. Livestock production is mainly focused on sheep and dairy, while pigs remain as secondary activity. Pig husbandry in Sardinia has been affected for decades by African swine fever (ASF), a high consequential notifiable disease, present since 1978. ASF presence involves restriction of exports, which could have limited growth and progress of pig production. However, very few data is available about pig production system on the island, how it works and the potential relationship with ASF. Considering that new regulations are being established to eradicate ASF, promoting farm professionalization, rising biosecurity levels and increasing veterinary control on pig farms, we considered essential to characterize the current swine system, identify trade and husbandry patterns in order to be able to check efficacy and implementation of these new measures.
In order to elucidate that, a retrospective study was performed to study the characteristics of pig production and pig trade channels on the island. For that purpose, data on pig farms and pig movements between 2010-2015 was analysed, pig farms were categorised according to current regulations, and pig movements/trade patterns were analysed by using time series and social network analysis (SNA). In addition, productivity levels of swine farms were estimated considering farm typology, characteristics of the local production and the number of productive years of the farm.
Results showed that more than 90% Sardinian farms are breeding farms, of which around 70% had less than 5 animals registered in the official census. Semi-extensive farms were mainly located in Northern provinces whereas intensive (closed) farms were more common in Central and Southern regions. Data processing showed that around 60% studied farms had declared any movements throughout their productive life. Significant seasonality in self-consumption and domiciliary slaughters was identified in winter, especially on small and medium farms. In contrast, movements to slaughterhouses registered two maxima over each year within summer and winter, whereas movements between farms were randomly reported along study period. SNA showed a local network with almost always unidirectional movements between neighbouring farms, involving a supplier farm and a recipient farm. Likewise, most farms usually sent animals to nearby slaughterhouses. Regarding productivity rates, more than 90% premises with registered movements reported lower productivity rates than expected.
Sardinia pig production is mainly based on non-professionalised small-scale producers established to satisfy self-consumption. Marked seasonality on pig slaughtering and self-consumption was identified in winter potentially due to increase demand for pig meat and pork products during Christmas. Based on productivity estimation, many pig movements may go un-reported on Sardinia. However, positive trends in reporting movements was observed since 2012 which may reflect an improvement in compliance with regulations. Discordance between official reported data and estimated productivity reflects potential illegal trade on the island that may be bypassing veterinary controls. All above constitute potential risks that could favour ASF spread and persistence on the island. Moreover, results get sight into time periods when control on farms should be implemented in order to avoid entrance and spread of infectious diseases through animal movements





Participants:

Universidad ComplutenseServicio de Inmunología Viral y Medicina Preventiva (SUAT). Centro de Vigilancia Sanitaria Veterinaria (VISAVET). Universidad Complutense (UCM).

Kansas State UniversityDepartment of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology. College of Veterinary Medicine. Kansas State University (KSU).

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della SardegnaIstituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna (IZSSA).

Universidad ComplutenseDepartamento de Sanidad Animal. Facultad de Veterinaria. Universidad Complutense (UCM).


Link to 10th Annual Meeting Epizone "Going Viral"





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10th Annual Meeting Epizone "Going Viral"


10th Annual Meeting Epizone
September 27th-29th, 2016
Madrid
Spain

TITLE: Characterization of pig production in Sardinia and its relationship with ASF presence


TYPE: Oral communication


AUTHORS: Jurado C., Mur L., Fernandez-Carrion E., Rolesu S., Laddomada A. and Sanchez-Vizcaino JM.


VISAVET PARTICIPANTS


José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno Rodríguez

DATE: September 28th, 2016


CITE THIS COMMUNICATION:

Jurado C., Mur L., Fernandez-Carrion E., Rolesu S., Laddomada A. and Sanchez-Vizcaino JM. Characterization of pig production in Sardinia and its relationship with ASF presence. 10th Annual Meeting Epizone "Going Viral", Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal. Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Madrid, Spain, September 28th, 2016. (Oral communication)


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