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WMC - Battling Threat of African Swine Fever

5 June 2012, at 11:40pm

FRANCE - The upsurge of African Swine Fever, particularly in Russia, and the failure of conventional prevention and control measures to counter its spread have underlined the need for a major shift in approach, writes Chris Harris from the World Meat Congress in Paris.

Speaking to the International Meat Secretariat Pork Committee on Monday before the start of the Congress, Dr Klaus Dietze the Animal Health Officer from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN outlined the need for urgent action.

The FAO recognises the need to particularly look at the risks from the small scale commercial operations and back yard producers as a means to stopping the spread of ASF.

And the organisation said there is a need to get further information on wild board populations and their movements.

The FAO is working closely with national governments and organisations to help understand and control the spread of the disease.

But it has said that there is also a need for public-private partnerships to fill the gap in addressing the danger from the small-scale and back yard operators.

These producers present a serious risk and financial danger to the pig sector, because stamping out measures involve al pigs within a certain distance of an outbreak, no matter what the size of the farm.

The FAO is seeking new alliances to help battle the disease and Dr Dietze also called on the International Meat Secretariat for help in battling the disease.