herd of young piglet on hay and straw at pig breeding farm

Solutions against swine fever

African Swine Fever virus (ASF) can be considered one of the most feared epidemic diseases of pig production, the others being Swine Vesicular Disease. All the more important is the protection of the animals with the appropriate animal health disinfection.

Advanced health disinfection for protection against swine diseases

With Virkon® S - the powerful broad spectrum disinfectant

ASF is extremely dangerous due to its highly contagious characteristics, ability to be easily spread via a variety of vectors, high morbidity and mortality rates, and extreme resilience to withstand high and low temperatures. Add to this the fact that there is currently no effective treatment or vaccine available, and it is easy to understand why pig producers fear this disease.

Biosecurity substances are needed to eliminate the virus, especially on larger farms

Biosecurity is the only real way of stopping its spread. It will reduce the impact on affected farms and will be a key to clinical recovery and virus elimination, especially on larger farms. Producers need to achieve the highest possible levels of biosecurity, leveraged by good buy-in and compliance from management, their staff and their suppliers.


Especially during transport swine fever is transmitted 

ASF is very good at ‘Hitching a ride’ so it spreads easily. A high proportion of spread will be by pig transportation, and so is the first target of biosecurity. However, there are many other means of spread. All other transport is a risk, from feed to dead-haul, to service vehicles, to manure removal. Perhaps the next biggest risk is from transmission via contact with wild boar. People can also be vectors, via their clothes, on their boots and equipment, or any inanimate objects they may bring onto the unit.

Holistic prevention with disinfection and extended protective measures

The virus may persist in uncooked meat products and swill for several months, and therefore could be transmitted via contaminated pig feed, or meat products ingested. Aerial spread has been demonstrated, but only over short distances and is unlikely to be a major factor.

The consequences for the economy and animal welfare can only be speculated on due to the first case in Germany. It is important to obtain up-to-date information from trustworthy sources. Find an excerpt in the column next to this running text. In the following section you will find recommendations, what can be relevant in addition to the advice and instructions of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture to stop African swine fever on as many levels as possible.

About Virkon™  disinfection technologies

The science-based biocide technologies for animal health disinfection in the Virkon® product range have been specifically developed to provide effective, flexible and convenient modern formulated disinfection solutions for commercial livestock owners, veterinary clinics and farmers.

The choice of disinfectant is critical. It must be effective against the ASF virus, but also have a broad spectrum of activity against other swine pathogens.

LANXESS Virkon® S and Virkon® LSP have broad spectrum activity against organisms that cause swine diseases and are both independently proven effective against the ASF virus. Efficacy testing for Virkon® S and Virkon® LSP was conducted again by the Center for Animal Health Research (CISA) Spain in February 2020 in accordance with EN 14675 (modified to allow testing against ASFv).

Disinfection applications
Surfaces Equipment Air Air disinfection in the presence of animals Water pipe cleaning between the passages Continuous water disinfection Vehicles Vehicle tubs Boot tubs


Virkon® S x x x x x x x x x x
Virkon® LSP x x

x x


Extreme economic risk due to the disease

Meat export is a hugely important industry in Germany. In 2019, 5.2 million tons of pork were produced here. Just under half of that was exported. When a single wild boar tested positive for ASF in Brandburg, exports already plummeted - especially to "third countries" (outside the EU).


Stefanie Gschwandner, SGO, 2021

„A sanitizer is the cornerstone of any biosecurity program to prevent disease. Its ability to maintain activity as winter temperatures drop is essential to safely achieve that protection. “

Stefanie Gschwandner, Head of Market Segment Disinfection

10 reasons for a central role of Virkon® S for biosecurity in pig farming 

How a 360° Biosecurity Concept for the control of african swine fever can look like

The loading dock and ramp of a swine production unit can pose a major biosecurity risk for the introduction and spread of highly contagious diseases such as ASF. Therefore, proper implementation of best biosecurity practice procedures must be followed each time pigs are picked up or delivered to the farm.

Ensure that all swine transport vehicles delivering or picking up pigs remain off the premises and are directed to the swine loading dock area.
The pig loading dock should be located at the edge of the production area, as far away as possible from the main entrance and staff parking area, and have its own access road.

It should be constructed of concrete, well lit, and have its own water supply, pressure washer, and drainage system that drains and stores water and manure from the farm. All transport vehicles picking up pigs must have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to arrival at the site. All vehicles that have not done so must be turned away and asked to leave the production site immediately.
The pig truck driver must change into clean coveralls and boots upon arrival at the loading dock and immediately use Virkon® S Disinfectant Boot Cleaner upon exiting the cab of their vehicle.

The dividing lines between the "dirty" and "clean" areas of the loading dock should be clearly separated by gates.

Drivers should not be allowed to enter the premises from the "dirty" to the "clean" side through the loading dock gates. Operations personnel who change from the "dirty" to the "clean" side or who must enter the transport trailer for any reason shall not re-enter the operations area until they have showered, changed their clothing, and sanitized their boots.
The loading dock and ramp must be dry cleaned, washed and disinfected with Biosolve® detergent and then Virkon® S disinfectant solution after each delivery and pickup of pigs.


Download Brochure VIRKON® S Virkon S pack shots

VIRKON® S - Detail information

Virkon® S is a powder disinfectant based on monopersulphate which is versatile and can be used for non-porous hard surfaces, agricultural production equipment, vehicles, wheels, boot disinfection and daily operational disinfection. The broad-spectrum efficacy of Virkon® S has been demonstrated: 61 strains of viruses, 33 strains of bacteria and 7 strains of fungi are killed in short contact times. The short contact times and economical dilution rates, combined with an outstanding efficacy profile, make Virkon® S one of the most popular disinfectants in animal and stable hygiene globally. A comprehensive list of organisms can be found on the Virkon® S product container label.The solution diluted in use is non-corrosive to skin and eyes.
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Detail information about VIRKON® LSP

Virkon® LSP is a powerful concentrated formulation that provides flexibility and broad-spectrum activity against viruses, bacteria and fungi in the presence of large temperature differences and organic loads. These properties make Virkon® LSP a flexible disinfectant formulation for disinfecting surfaces, equipment, footwear and vehicles.The strong performance of a disinfectant at low temperatures has a positive impact on day-to-day use. It is an undisputed fact that the efficacy of disinfectants containing glutaraldehyde can decrease as temperatures drop, requiring a higher concentration and longer surface contact time. Virkon® LSP, on the other hand, ensures consistent efficacy against various bacteria and viruses at 4°C without the need to increase concentration or contact time. For disinfection of hard surfaces, a Virkon® LSP solution should be prepared at a dilution ratio of either 1:200 or 1:400, depending on the application, degree of contamination and ambient temperature.