About the spread of the virus
According to experts, the spread rate of the African swine fever is 100-150 km per year, so – we can say – it was not avoidable to find the infected wild boar, announced in April 2018, in the territory of Gyöngyös-Gyöngyöshalász Földtulajdonosi Vadásztársaság (Landowner Hunting Association) in Heves County. The presence of the virus in the Ukrainian border area of Hungary was detected already in the summer of 2017, not only in the stock of game, but also among domestic pigs! Thus the spread of the virus among wild boars can be regarded as a “normal” process, but the role of human activity should be emphasized regarding domestic pigs. Therefore the primary task in Hungary today is to protect domestic pigs from the spread of the virus, that is, the serious and strict adherence to preventive measures by all the actors in the sector for our own benefit. This is particularly important, since we can see that, even for infections not affecting commodity pigs, processes with economic disadvantages have started in the pig market, mainly regarding export restrictions and, as a consequence, through the unjustified and rapid reduction of the domestic purchase price. Market players are prepared for this situation to some extent, but no one can predict its long-term impact yet. Life goes on, the changed situation shall be managed at the level of economic policy. Professionals are working on exploring the possibilities of mitigating the situation, and we look forward to the developments.
Food for thought:
- The annual loss of 40-50 thousand tons of pork exports can be heard from the processing industry (about 10% of our total pork production), the fate of which will determine the domestic pork purchase prices. If we look at today’s Hungarian pork consumption statistics, we can see that this amount would require approx. 4-5 kg of pork/person/year surplus consumption from domestic consumers to compensate for the loss of exports. In the last 15 years, the per capita pork consumption was the highest in 2006 with 27.9 kg, in 2013 there was a low point in domestic pork consumption with 24.0 kg/person (-3.9 kg) per year, which increased to 27.0 kg/person/year (+3.0 kg) by 2015. Are we able to increase it further for the benefit of the pig sector?
- The appearance of swine fever is detected and reported in Hungary on April 21, 2018. Three weeks later, in the framework of the 25th Great Plain Stock Breeding and Agricultural Days (national trade fair and exhibition), it was no longer possible (?) to cancel the usual pig breeding animal review and auction program points, so breeders and breeding animals came from several parts of the country (also from Heves county). If the organizers were not able to avoid the “backward” situation, life, or rather farmers, had a greater sense of responsibility, and they did not buy breeding supplies in this situation despite the “favourable” price. Common sense prevails!