OIE to launch global initiative to tackle ASF

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

OIE to launch global initiative to tackle ASF

Related tags: Pork

A global approach to African Swine Fever (ASF) has been urged by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

At the 87th General Assembly of OIE National Delegates in Paris, it stressed the importance of international co-operation to help control the disease. It proposed utilising the GF-TADs (Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases) mechanism to “develop, improve and harmonise partnerships and coordination at national, regional and international levels”​.

GF-TADs’ function is to prevent, detect and control transboundary animal diseases, taking into account their regional dimensions. It is hoped it will help co-ordinate European regional groups of ASF experts that have been in existence under the umbrella of this platform since 2014, as well as groups that have recently been set up in Asia and the Americas. It will establish a work programme in the coming months in collaboration with FAO, taking into consideration the regional initiatives that already exist.

The OIE outlined some areas that members should be focusing on to tackle the disease.

It said: “Given the global socioeconomic repercussions of ASF, controlling the disease is a high priority for both affected countries and those free of the disease. It is for this reason that that the OIE calls on its Member Countries to ensure that they implement its standards and practices for the effective control of ASF.”

The areas of focus included: programmes for prevention, early detection and intervention, and compensation policies; biosecurity measures; pig traceability and movement controls; effective official monitoring; management of wild pig populations; slaughter of animals in accordance with animal welfare rules, and the safe disposal of contaminated animal products; improvement in collaboration between stakeholders and between countries and programmes of ongoing training and awareness raising.

The statement added: “Because of its complex epidemiology, it isn’t possible to control ASF without a coordinated response from the different sectors involved. In addition to Veterinary Services, this includes customs and border control authorities, the pig production industry, universities, forestry management bodies, hunters’ associations, tourist organisations and animal transport organisations. Clear and transparent communication is essential if all these actors are to fully understand their roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the measures required.”

The OIE also reminded all Member Countries of the importance of reporting the disease via the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS), to help build a complete picture of the disease situation. It reported that between the 26 April and 9 May 2019, 1,322 outbreaks were ongoing and 157 new notifications of ASF were sent to the OIE via the WAHIS platform.

Related topics: Livestock, Pork

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