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EFSA steps up ASF control efforts in south-eastern Europe

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched the "Stop African swine fever campaign" in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly pig disease in south-eastern Europe.

4 September 2020, at 8:12am

EFSA has begun a major campaign to raise awareness and help halt the spread of African swine fever in south-east Europe.

The campaign is aimed at countries that in 2019 EFSA identified as collectively comprising a “region of concern” because of their proximity to countries where ASF is present. These are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

The EFSA campaign will complement the ongoing efforts of the European Commission and other international organisations to work towards the eradication of the disease in Europe.

What is African swine fever?

African swine fever (ASF) is a viral disease that affects domestic pigs and wild boar. The virus is harmless to humans but has caused significant economic disruption in many countries. There are currently no vaccines for ASF, so an outbreak can necessitate the slaughter of large numbers of farm-kept pigs in affected areas.

Objectives and audiences

The campaign aims to raise awareness and understanding of ASF in all nine countries. It is aimed at groups of people and individuals who come into contact with domestic pigs and wild boar, such as pig farmers and hunters. EFSA will also engage with veterinary organisations, hunting associations, farmers’ groups, customs officers, border police, local governments, tourist operators, and travellers.

Detect, prevent, report

Because an ASF outbreak can have such devastating effects, detection, prevention and reporting are essential if this disease is to be contained. These are the key words of our campaign.

The EFSA will be sharing factsheets, infographics, ready-to-use social media posts and other materials. Find out more about ASF on the campaign website.