Japanese encephalitis information for pig owners

Queensland pig owners and operators of piggeries are urged to take steps to protect their pigs against the Japanese encephalitis virus and remain alert for and report any signs of Japanese encephalitis virus infection in their animals.

Protecting your pigs

If you work with or have contact with pigs, including small herds or pets, you should take steps to control mosquitoes on your property and continue to use effective biosecurity measures.

You should have an effective mosquito management program in place that targets all stages of the mosquito life cycle using a combination of non-chemical and chemical methods.

This requires a combination of:

  • environmental management to reduce mosquito breeding and resting sites
  • treating the larvae (larviciding)
  • treating the adults (adultciding)
  • ongoing monitoring and surveillance
  • record keeping.

To protect your pigs:

  • treat or remove potential mosquito breeding sites
    • spray or fog the outside of sheds regularly with a handheld or commercial spray unit with approved insecticide
    • disperse approved mosquito larvicides over water bodies close to sheds, that cannot be drained
  • remove water lying around sheds and roads
  • remove weeds and mow long grass
  • monitor mosquito numbers daily. Inspect water bodies and water-filled containers for wrigglers and check facilities for resting adult mosquitoes (e.g. ceilings, walls). If mosquitoes remain abundant, consider additional mosquito control.

Seek professional advice about using chemicals to control mosquitoes. Chemicals for mosquito control should only be used by people authorised in accordance with Queensland training and licensing requirements.

Chemicals that are not registered for use on pigs, pig feed, surfaces pigs may contact, or in a way that might result in chemical drifting onto pigs should not be used.

Read about mosquito control around piggeries.

Pig producers should also continue to use effective biosecurity measures in the National farm biosecurity manual for pork production (PDF, 3.1MB).

If you own or keep a pig in Queensland you must be registered as a biosecurity entity. Registration allows you to be kept informed in the event of a biosecurity emergency.

Moving pigs

Ensure pigs showing clinical signs consistent with Japanese encephalitis are isolated and remain on the property until you seek advice from your veterinarian or Biosecurity Queensland.

While some movement controls are put in place on pigs, pig semen and embryos on piggeries where Japanese encephalitis has been detected, to minimise the spread of infection, certain movements are able to occur following assessment by a Biosecurity Queensland inspector and relevant approval.

These processes allow essential pig movement to occur in a safe and controlled manner. This is to manage the risk to human health while allowing pigs to continue to move routinely to processing and in most cases to other properties.

Reporting

Japanese encephalitis is a notifiable disease in Queensland. If you see any of signs of Japanese encephalitis in your pigs, immediately contact your veterinarian, Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23, or phone the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

More information