EFSA identifies African Swine Fever risk

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

African Swine Fever risks identified by EFSA

Related tags Eu African swine fever Livestock Pork

A report into the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Europe has identified the countries most at risk from the disease hitting its borders.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) carried out an assessment of countries in south-east Europe on the probability of ASF being found. The report estimates that the countries, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Slovenia, have a very high chance (66-100%) of the disease spreading to all these countries within a year of one country having a confirmed case. A ninth country, Serbia, was also part of the evaluation by EFSA however during the research period (July 2019), a case of ASF was confirmed in the region.

The report also stated that the chances of the disease spreading west into other EU Member States within the same time frame are rated was very low (0-15%) however ESFA still stressed the importance of adhering to control measures.

It said “control measures – which have been in place in the EU since 2014 – should continue to focus on the importance of early detection and preparedness”​.

In particular, EFSA recommends: rigorous surveillance, especially surveillance of wild boar and domestic pigs, which remains the most effective means for early detection of ASF; measures to limit access of wild boar to food and further reduce boar numbers through hunting and awareness campaigns for travellers, hunters, farmers etc. to limit the risk of spread via movement of people, as well as to assist with early detection.

EFSA also urged communication and collaboration among national authorities and stakeholders to support awareness campaigns, and training activities for veterinary officers, other relevant bodies and hunters to increase the probability of early detection and effective control.

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