Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

African Swine Fever in wild boar: assessing interventions in South Korea.

Abstract

African Swine Fever (ASF) was detected in South Korean pig farms in September 2019. Currently, ASF occurs mostly in wild boar (Sus scrofa). We describe the ASF dynamics in wild boar in South Korea from October 2019 to October 2020 and use case studies to evidence the advantages and limitations of the control measures applied. During 2019, ASF remained confined in fenced areas of three counties. Since January 2020 however, the ASF management policy changed from fencing with limited disturbance to culling (with more disturbance), and ASF spread east and south. Until 31 October 2020, a total of 775 wild boar ASF cases have been confirmed, affecting 9 counties. Interventions for ASF control in wild boar included silent (trapping) and non-silent (shooting) population control, local and large-scale fencing, and carcass destruction. Pre-ASF wild boar densities were closed to 10 per km2. Biosafety risks arose from the movements of people and vehicles, swill feeding of wild boar, destroying pig herds, handling wild boar during trapping and hunting, and searching for and disposing of carcasses. Despite training efforts, biosafety regulations were sometimes ignored. We observed differences between counties regarding disease control. While interventions apparently succeeded in controlling ASF in one site where geographical features and fast decision making facilitated an early and efficient fencing, and culling was performed silently, biosafety problems and habitat- and management-related delays hindered ASF control in other situations. Given that carcass, destruction faces specific limitations in South Korea, fencing and trapping (under appropriate biosafety conditions) might represent the most effective intervention option.