Nick Peksa examines the extent to which the growing African Swine Fever epidemic could influence pork supply chains in the coming months. This article first appeared in ESM Issue 5 2019.
Over the years, Europe has experienced a number of agricultural epidemics, from the Irish Potato Famine (1845-49) to the more recent foot-and-mouth outbreak in the UK (2001), wherein six million cows and sheep were killed. Avian flu struck next (2003-5), wiping out the Dutch egg industry, globally killing hundreds of people, and resulting in millions of chickens being slaughtered worldwide.
Now, there are signs that we are potentially about to experience the next disease that will leave a lasting mark on the agricultural industry: African swine fever.