African swine fever (ASF) is a disease that has led to a significant decline in the number of pigs in Ukraine over several years. It is a viral disease of pigs, which is manifested by fever, cyanosis of skin and common hemorrhages of internal organs. For humans, African swine fever is not dangerous but it causes a rapid decline in a number of livestock. In Ukraine, cases of this disease are registered in each region.
In the absence of vaccines, the only possible option for overcoming ASF is the forced slaughter and neutralization of all infected pigs and the slaughter of pigs in the area of possible infection expansion. This has led to a 22% decline in pig number in farms over the last 5 years and it continues to decline. Realizing the losses farmers refuse to do pig farming. So, since 2014 500 pig farms stopped their existence.
Experts predict that 1,7 million pigs will remain in Ukraine in 2025 compared to 3.6 million in 2015. Meanwhile, pig farming provides about 20% of industrial meat production, which can generate over $ 2 billion tax revenue to the budget each year. Therefore, the losses from reducing the number of pigs in Ukraine are obvious.
Sumy National Agrarian University knows how to stop the mass destruction of pigs. According to NASSR, identifying the risks of infectious disease agents bringing on the farm territory and the risks of spreading pathogens among the pig population within the farm contributes to their elimination or weakening, which creates preconditions for increasing the biosecurity of enterprises and farms. Innovative module Hog Slat provides this opportunity to minimize human impact on pig production. Certain cases are directly related to each other or to the transportation highways or trade routes, or even to the family relations of sick pig owners. Thus, social (or so-called “human”) factor became the driving force of ASF epizootic process.
The innovative module Hog Slat has already been introduced at SNAU, and the students are working with it, and in the future, they will be able to fully manage the process at the enterprises and pig complexes. And grand opening of the module took place on March 3. The event was attended by the general director of the company Hog Slat in Ukraine Lana Vivant, who expressed her gratitude to Sumy NAU and rector Volodymyr Ladyka, in particular, for the desire to integrate modern technologies into the educational process in order to provide national agro-industrial complex with qualified personnel.