Global action needed now to halt spread of deadly pig disease
Joint Press Release
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.
Paris | Rome, 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.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.
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.
- 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.
Coordinated actions as part of the Global Initiative should take place alongside maintaining transparency regarding reporting of animal diseases and investing in strong and resilient animal health systems.
The Global Initiative builds on previous regional efforts and follows recommendations of ASF experts from around the world. It aims to strengthen national Veterinary Services ability to manage risks through the development and implementation of ASF national control programmes, with public and private sectors working in partnership. Risk communication with the relevant stakeholders will be a crucial element to effectively address risk pathways and high-risk practices.
On a global scale, the sustained spread of ASF poses a threat to food security, economic and rural development. The disease represents a barrier to the agricultural sector to reach its full potential, generate employment and alleviate poverty, and acts as a disincentive to investment in the pig sector. Global control of ASF will thus contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, notably Goals 1 (No Poverty) and 2 (Zero Hunger).
For more information:
- Global Control of African swine fever: A GF-TADs Initiative (2020-2025)
- OIE ASF web page
- OIE ASF global and situational updates
- OIE ‘ASF kills pigs’ awareness campaign
- GF-TADs ASF portal
- OIE Regional website for the Americas
- OIE Regional website for Asia and the Pacific
- OIE Regional website for Europe
Contact: [email protected]