The Prairie Swine Centre is launching a survey of Canadians who own one or a few pigs so it can know who to alert if there is an outbreak of African Swine Fever.
The project builds on information in other countries, such as Europe, where backyard pigs pose a threat to pick up African Swine Fever and spread it into the commercial hog-farming sector.
Dr. Murray Pettitt, chief executive officer of the Prairie Swine Centre, is heading the project which aims to get survey results from at least 350 of the estimated 7,000 Canadians who own one or just a few pigs.
The survey aims to find out why they own pigs, what they feed, what they know about contagious swine diseases such as African Swine Fever and what biosecurity measures they practice.
It should give swine specialists a better idea about how to communicate with these pig owners about contagious swine diseases.
“It’s probably a safe assumption that in a lot of cases these motivators will be different than the commercial industry and we need to take that into account in designing effective messaging,” Pettitt said during an on online seminar about African Swine Fever (ASF) organized by Swine Innovation Porc.
“What we’re really looking for here is a good thorough understanding of what motivates them, why they have pigs, what’s important to them, what would they give up if they were to lose their pigs due to ASF or any other swine disease coming through Canada and based on that, can we and how do we design appropriate communication measures?” Pettitt said.
There is $75 for survey participants and a chance to win one of three iPads.