African swine fever: How did the Spaniards eradicate it?

Many of the tests we use today for rapid detection both in swine and ticks comes from Spain’s experience.

 

Ann Hess, National Hog Farmer

Nov 30, 2018

 

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “I believe that the more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future.”

 

Those words struck me recently after attending a session on African swine fever at the National Pork Producers Council Fall Alliance Meeting when Neil Dierks, NPPC chief executive officer, mentioned maybe we need to revisit Spain’s history with the virus and how they were able to stamp it out. My ears perked up at the comment, and yes, my mouth began to salivate at the thought of tasting Jamón ibérico again too, but mostly I was just intrigued to know more about their situation. Thankfully Dierks pointed me to a vault of information on ASF and Spain.

 

Peter Fernandez, a former Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service veterinarian, got his start at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center as a technician in the late-1970s and studied for five years in Spain in the mid-1980s before coming back to the United States and taking his role with APHIS as a foreign service officer overseas. He is an infectious disease epidemiologist and the co-author of the World Organization for Animal Health Atlas of Transboundary Animal Diseases. Fernandez is also an instructor of foreign animal diseases at PIADC and provides lectures on ASF.

 

And Fernandez says the swine industry could learn a thing or two today from Spain’s experience with ASF.

 

Spain’s history with ASF

 

When the disease first entered the southwest European country in the 1960s, control was rather difficult...

 

... By 1995, Spain became officially clear of ASF. Portugal declared itself free in 1993, but the virus reemerged in 1999. Fernandez says this final occurrence was likely due to an infected tick that survived eradication as they have been documented to remain infected well over 600 days.

 

What can we learn from Spain?

 

You need a good indemnification program...

 

You need solid collaboration...

 

You need solid science...

 

You need an economic driver...

 

What can the U.S. industry take away? ...

 

more

https://www.nationalhogfarmer.com/business/african-swine-fever-how-did-spaniards-eradicate-it