African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread across the world, killing domestic and wild pigs and heightening panzootic risks for all countries. It is time to join forces to put an end to this deadly pig disease, whose impact goes far beyond animal health and welfare, as it causes severe production and economic lossesand threatens food security. Today, at the 87th OIE General Session and after the presentation of a report on the ‘Strategic challenges to global control of African swine fever’, the World Assembly called on countries to consider ASF control as a high priority and the OIE committed to implement a global initiative to better support them in the control of the disease using the Global Framework for the progressive control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs).
Control of ASF is possible, but country efforts need to be part of a coordinated global approach to ensure their success and sustainability. During the General Session, the OIE received from its Members the mandate to address ASF by improving national, regional and global coordination under the umbrella of the GF-TADs. Through a Resolution that will be submitted for formal endorsement on Thursday, the OIE took leadership in collaboration with FAO toidentify key pillars required for the global control of ASF, in compliance with the relevant OIE Standards, and to support the establishment of expert networks and research alliances around the world, among other actions.
Furthermore, the resolution urges countries to curb the spread of ASF by putting in place the following measures:
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CONSIDER ASF AS A DISEASE THAT REQUIRES RISK MANAGEMENT
To develop or refine national control programmes including preparation measures for contingency planning, prevention, early detection, rapid response and compensation policies to support industry recovery.
KEEP TRANSPARENCY OF THE GLOBAL SITUATION
MAKE USE OF THE OIE PVS PATHWAY
To sustainably improve Veterinary Services and support national control investments, the development of trade activities as well as prevention in disease- free countries. More information about the PVS Pathway.
INCREASE RISK COMMUNICATION ACTIVITIES
To effectively address high risk practices and strengthen biosecurity measures in the national pig sector and wild pig population.
In this regard, the OIE has made available an awareness campaign called ‘ASF kills pigs’ that provides posters, infographics and short animations explaining to all relevant actors how to protect pigs and the farming economy. Tools are available in English, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Russian. Thanks to countries’ efforts, they have also been translated to Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Slovakian, Bulgarian and Croatian. Additional languages are expected to arrive soon.
All countries, regardless of their current ASF status, must remain alert and take action to stop its spread. The disease’s transmission is strongly linked to the movement of pigs and pork products as well as of contaminated materials, feed and fomites (read more about the disease). At the 87th OIE General Session, countries shared how they are fighting against the disease in the field.