Swine Health

Biosecurity

Anytime there is a congregation of swine, especially swine originating from different premises, there is an increased risk for the spread of diseases such as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PEDv), Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), influenza, and others.

Establishing and following sound biosecurity practices is the cornerstone for reducing the risk of spreading these diseases. Swine owners are encouraged to follow these biosecurity recommendations to reduce the risk of disease exposure and transmission.

African Swine Fever

African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly contagious, reportable, and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral (wild) pigs. ASF is not a human health or food safety concern because it only affects swine and can not be transmitted from pigs to humans.

ASF is found in countries around the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. More recently, it has spread through China, Mongolia and Vietnam, as well as within parts of the European Union. It has never been found in the United States

In order to protect Texas swine from ASF, the USDA and TAHC have regulations in place to prevent the introduction and spread of the disease. For more information on ASF and associated regulations visit the links provided in this section.

ASF Resources

We have many resources available to help spread the word about how to prevent ASF.

Biosecurity


Swine Brucellosis

Swine brucellosis is a reportable, contagious disease caused by the bacteria Brucella suis (B. suis). The B. suis strain primarily affects swine, but has been known to affect cattle and bison. Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease, that can affect humans.

Texas is currently considered Swine Brucellosis free for large "commercial" herds, although infection continues to be found at times in smaller backyard herds. In these instances, infection is usually the result of exposure to feral swine. Swine Brucellosis is known to be prevalent in Texas's feral swine population.

In order to protect Texas animals from swine brucellosis, the USDA and TAHC have regulations in place to prevent the introduction and spread of brucellosis. Regulations outline the requirements for movement, testing, identification, record keeping, and surveillance. For more information on swine brucellosis and associated regulations visit the links provided in this section.


Swine Pseudorabies

Pseudorabies, also known as “Aujeszky’s Disease”, is a highly contagious viral disease found in swine. The virus is capable of infecting most domestic and wild mammals including cattle, sheep, goats, cats and dogs. Horses may become infected as well, though it is rare. Swine pseudorabies does not affect humans and meat from infected animals is safe for human consumption. Pseudorabies is a reportable disease to the Texas Animal Health Commission.

Swine are the natural host for this disease and are the only animals to become latent carriers. Feral swine are considered a natural reservoir in Texas, and may be asymptomatic.

Though the USDA has declared all U.S. commercial swine operations free of pseudorabies, the USDA and TAHC continue to enforce regulations designed to prevent potential introduction and spread of the disease, as it is still prevalent in the wild hog population. For more information on swine pseudorabies and associated regulations visit the links provided in this section.


Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv)

PEDv is an emerging viral disease of concern to the U.S. swine industry causing severe diarrhea and high mortality in young pigs. The virus is found in manure and can be transported on contaminated trucks or trailers. It is not anticipated to be a disease of regulatory concern at this time, but state and federal animal health officials are assisting the swine industry with the epidemiological investigations and outreach about the disease. It does not affect humans or compromise food safety. There is no known treatment so an emphasis on establishing strong biosecurity measures is critical to minimize further spread.


Feral Swine

Feral swine carry diseases that pose a direct threat to domestic swine, cattle, humans, and other species. In order to control the spread of and mitigate the risk of exposure to disease, the Texas Animal Health Commission regulates the movement of live feral swine.

Historical test data indicates that about 10 percent of feral swine are infected with Swine Brucellosis, a disease that affects cattle and occasionally humans. Approximately 20 percent of feral swine may be infected with Pseudorabies (PRV) unrelated to rabies, but causes illness in hogs and affect market ability of domestic swine.

In 2007, the 80th Texas Legislature provided that the TAHC regulate the movement of live feral swine as a measure to control the spread of disease. The TAHC subsequently passed rules that allow feral swine to be captured and sold for slaughter, while still protecting domestic swine and other livestock from the disease risks posed by these animals.

Approved Feral Swine Holding Facilities

An Approved Holding Facility serves as a temporary place to hold feral swine pending their movement to a recognized slaughter facility, an authorized hunting preserve, or another approved holding facility.

Feral Swine Facilities Map Find a feral swine facility near you.

View the list of approved feral swine holding facilities that have agreed to publish their contact information.

Purchase of Feral Swine

  • TAHC is not involved in any aspect of the purchase transaction.
  • Approved feral swine holding facilities may purchase trapped feral swine.
  • Purchase price is at the discretion of the individual facility owner.