While swine production is rapidly growing in South-East Asia, the structure of the swine industry and the dynamic of pig movements have not been well-studied. However, this knowledge is a prerequisite for understanding the dynamic of disease transmission in swine populations and designing cost-effective surveillance strategies for infectious diseases. In this study, we assessed the farming and trading practices in the Vietnamese swine familial farming sector, which accounts for most pigs in Vietnam, and for which disease surveillance is a major challenge. Farmers from two communes of a Red River Delta Province (northern Vietnam) were interviewed, along with traders involved in pig transactions. Major differences in the trade structure were observed between the two communes. One commune had mainly transversal trades, that is between farms of equivalent sizes, whereas the other had pyramidal trades, that is from larger to smaller farms. Companies and large familial farrow-to-finish farms were likely to act as major sources of disease spread through pig sales, demonstrating their importance for disease control. Familial fattening farms with high pig purchases were at greater risk of disease introduction and should be targeted for disease detection as part of a risk-based surveillance. In contrast, many other familial farms were isolated or weakly connected to the swine trade network limiting their relevance for surveillance activities. However, some of these farms used boar hiring for breeding, increasing the risk of disease spread. Most familial farms were slaughtering pigs at the farm or in small local slaughterhouses, making the surveillance at the slaughterhouse inefficient. In terms of spatial distribution of the trades, the results suggested that northern provinces were highly connected and showed some connection with central and southern provinces. These results are useful to develop risk-based surveillance protocols for disease detection in the swine familial sector and to make recommendations for disease control.
Keywords: South-East Asia; Vietnam; disease surveillance; infectious disease; network analysis; swine movements.
© 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.