SHIC Applauds European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Risk Assessment for ASF Sharing of Information

Farmscape for August 12, 2021

Full Interview 18:19 Listen

The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center is applauding the sharing of information on African Swine Fever by the European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Risk Assessment for ASF spread. The first incursion of African Swine Fever into the commercial swine herd in Germany was reported in mid-July in three outdoor pig farms near Germany’s border with Poland. Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says one of the things that is good to note is that the European Food Safety Authority’s Panel on Risk Assessment for ASF spread is sharing information.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
They focussed on the risk of spreading ASF through outdoor pig farms and certainly, with their experience especially in eastern Europe where the virus is in their feral pigs, is in wild board in eastern Europe, that continues to pose a risk for commercial pigs, especially those in outdoor pig farms. One of the recent outcomes is the discovery of ASF in a couple of farms in Germany with that type of production. That’s the first incursion of ASF into German commercial production. They have acted very quickly to contain it, to eradicate the pigs from those farms and make sure that they’re doing everything they can to prevent its spread to further commercial. I think that’s an illustration of the importance of this risk assessment and of attention for biosecurity in farms that raise pigs outdoors especially, because they may have the opportunity for contact with feral pigs.

Dr. Sundberg stresses we don’t have ASF in feral pigs in North America so we don’t have that risk at this point because we don’t have the virus. He says this is an example of making sure that we learn all the lessons we can about this virus and the way it spreads and moves within pig populations in those countries that have it within their borders.

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