African swine fever: a New Zealand perspective on epidemiological risk factors for its occurrence.
This article reviews key epidemiological and clinical features of African swine fever (ASF). We identify particular aspects of New Zealand's pig populations (commercial, non-commercial, and wild) that may affect the risk of disease entry or spread. Review of published literature is supplemented by analysis of demographic and spatial aspects of the New Zealand commercial, non-commercial, and feral pig populations to provide context around risk factors for the disease that are most relevant to New Zealand. The current Eurasian outbreak of ASF, including recent spread into Oceania, has increased the risk of an incursion of the disease into New Zealand. Large volumes of fresh pork importation (including from countries affected by ASF), large non-commercial pig populations with substantial spatial overlap with the country's commercial industry, limited monitoring of compliance with waste food feeding regulations, and lack of mandatory premises identification for non-commercial pig holdings would likely contribute to the risk of spread of ASF in the event of an incursion. Awareness amongst veterinarians of these risk factors will contribute to national biosecurity and disease preparedness efforts in New Zealand.