European Vets Support Swill Feeding Ban to Control African Swine Fever

EU - The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) has called for everyone to be vigilant for African Swine Fever.
calendar icon 25 February 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

African swine fever (ASF) is a transboundary animal disease and one of the most severe viral pig diseases, says FVE.

It is highly contagious, resulting in up 100 per cent morbidity in previously unexposed pig herds with mortality rate varying between zero and 100 per cent, depending on the virus, the host, the dose and route of the exposure of the virus.

In 2007, it was introduced into the Caucasus and then into Eastern Europe.

In the Russian Federation, ASF has persisted since 2008 and is currently spreading over Lithuania and Belarus. Since there are no effective vaccines or treatments, outbreaks can be controlled by:

  • stamping out
  • strict movement bans of swine and their products
  • sanitary prophylaxis.

FVE is concerned that the ASF virus is spreading across Europe and into Asia and is aware that extensive wild boars and pigs culling lead to severe economic losses, financial consequences for farmers and serious trade restrictions.

For this reason FVE wants to restate that:

  • Early detection and response are crucial for the control of ASF (Critical control areas include BIPs and farms, where veterinarians are fully engaged and play a fundamental role)
  • Veterinary practioners must encourage farmers to report suspected outbreaks
  • Veterinary Services,as a public good, must be well equipped, resourced with trained staff and have access to sufficient funds (for early diagnosis, effective controls and adequate compensation) in order to achieve effective implementation of prophylaxis measures
  • Swill feeding plays a major role in disease transmission. Vigorous enforcement of the EU-wide ban on swill feeding is essential.
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