Infectious Diseases / Outbreak Watch

Swine Brucella Risk While Hunting Feral Hogs

The Alabama feral hog hunting trend has increased over the past year, and with larger number of people getting involved in handling the wild hog once it has been killed, the risks of contracting Swine Brucella is on the rise. Swine Brucella is caused by the bacterium Brucella suis and is usually contracted while handling an infected hog without proper precautions.

The CDC has recommended the following pointers to be kept in mind to prevent contracting this disease:

  • Use clean, sharp knives for field dressing and butchering.
  • Wear eye protection and rubber or latex gloves when handling carcasses.
  • Avoid direct contact of bare skin with fluid or organs from the animal.
  • After butchering, burn or bury disposable gloves and parts of the carcass that will not be eaten.
  • Avoid feeding raw meat or other parts of the carcass to dogs.
  • Wash hands as soon as possible with soap and warm water for 20 seconds or more. 
  • Dry hands with a clean cloth.
  • Clean all tools and reusable gloves with a disinfectant, such as diluted bleach.
  • Thoroughly cook the meat.
  • Be aware that freezing, smoking, drying and pickling do not kill the bacteria that cause brucellosis.
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