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Forskningsartikel2023Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Understanding the interface between European wild boar (Sus scrofa) and domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus) in Sweden through a questionnaire study

Ernholm, Linda; Ståhl, Karl; Neimanis, Aleksija; Widgren, Stefan; Sternberg Lewerin, Susanna

Sammanfattning

Background In recent years, the wildlife/livestock interface has attracted increased attention due to disease transmission between wild and domestic animal populations. The ongoing spread of African swine fever (ASF) in European wild boar (Sus scrofa) emphasize the need for further understanding of the wildlife/livestock interface to prevent disease spill-over between the wild and domestic populations. Although wild boar may also act as a potential source for other infectious disease agents, ASF is currently the most severe threat from wild boar to domestic pigs. To gather information on the wild boar situation at commercial pig producing farms in Sweden, a digital questionnaire survey was distributed through the animal health services. Results Most pigs produced for commercial purposes in Sweden are raised without outdoor access. Of the 211 responding pig producers, 80% saw wild boar or signs of wild boar activity in the vicinity of their farm at least once during the year. Observations were significantly correlated with geographical region, but there was no correlation between farm characteristics (farm size, main type of production, outdoor access) and observed wild boar presence or proximity. However, a reported higher frequency of wild boar observations was positively correlated with the observations being made in closer proximity to the farm. Hunting and strategic baiting were the most common mitigation strategies used to keep wild boar at bay. Of the 14 farms raising pigs with outdoor access, 12 responded that these pigs could be raised solely indoors if needed. Pigs with outdoor access are required to be fenced in, but double fencing in these outdoor pig enclosures was not practiced by all. A perimeter fence surrounding any type of pig farm was very rare. More than half of the producers that grew crops with intended use for pigs reported crop damage by wild boar. Conclusion This study shows that although pigs raised for commercial purposes in Sweden are, to a large extent, kept indoors the potential for indirect contact with wild boar exists and must be considered. Variable local situations regarding wild boar abundance may require an adaptive approach regarding biosecurity efforts.

Nyckelord

African swine fever; Disease transmission; Wildlife-livestock interface

Publicerad i

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
2023, Volym: 65, nummer: 1, artikelnummer: 40