The escalation of the spread of African swine fever (ASF) has placed most of the world's domestic and wild pig populations under direct threat. To support countries' efforts to protect economies and food security, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today launch a joint initiative for the Global Control of ASF. [Source: OIE 20 July 2020]
Pork is the most consumed meat in the world, representing 35.6 percent of global meat consumption. In recent years, ASF - which may cause up to 100 percent mortality in pigs - has become a major crisis for the pork industry, causing massive losses in pig populations and generating drastic economic consequences. Currently affecting several countries of Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe, and with no effective vaccine, the disease is not only impeding animal health and welfare but has detrimental impacts on the livelihoods of farmers.
"Today, 51 countries are affected by African swine fever. Amid the difficult situation posed by COVID-19, ASF continues to spread, intensifying the current health and socioeconomic crises," said Dr Matthew Stone, OIE Deputy Director General for International Standards and Science. Many countries that are affected by ASF lack sufficient human, financial or technical resources to rapidly detect, respond and contain animal diseases.
"In this globalised world, where diseases can spread rapidly across borders, timely sharing of latest scientific information, international collaboration and notification of ASF are needed to prevent transboundary spread and minimise impact," said FAO Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo.
OIE and FAO call on countries and partners to join forces against this deadly pig disease by adopting the new Initiative for the Global Control of ASF.
Building upon the experience of the long-standing collaboration between OIE and FAO for the management of animal health related risks, the joint Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs) developed the Global Initiative with the aim of fostering national, regional, and global partnerships, to strengthen control measures and to minimise the impact of this complex and challenging disease.
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- Improve the capability of countries to control (prevent, respond, eradicate) ASF using OIE International Standards and best practices that are based on the latest science.
- Establish an effective coordination and cooperation framework for the global control of ASF.
- Facilitate business continuity ensuring safe production and trade to protect food systems.