Early detection key to controlling ASF spread

EFSA projects very high chance of ASF spreading among southeastern European countries but very low chance of spreading to other EU member states.


Source: EFSA

via National Hog Farmer - Nov 07, 2019


Improved surveillance, communication and collaboration are key to controlling the spread of African swine fever (ASF) in Europe, according to a new risk assessment carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).


EFSA said the assessment estimates the potential for the disease to spread across southeastern Europe. It was requested by the European Commission to support efforts to control and prevent the spread of ASF in the region, the agency said in its announcement.


EFSA evaluated the possibility of ASF spread among nine disease-free countries: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia (which reported an ASF case while the assessment was being finalized) and Slovenia.


The agency concluded that the chances of the disease spreading among these countries within one year of introduction are very high (66-100%). However, the chances of the disease spreading west into other European Union member states within the same time frame were rated as very low (0-15%).


Control measures, which have been in place in the EU since 2014, should continue to focus on the importance of early detection and preparedness, EFSA said.


In particular, EFSA recommended: