Standing Group of ASF experts for Baltic and Eastern Europe countries under GF-TADs was set up for the infection combating experience analysis and assessment of measures taken for its control. The Group activities are aimed at strengthening cooperation between ASF-infected countries for the purpose of development of jointly agreed approach for the disease eradication in the Eastern Europe.
The 13th meeting of the Group of experts with participation of the European Commission, World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) members was held on the sidelines of the 87th OIE General Session in Paris, France, on May 29, 2019. Outcomes of ASF prevention and control measures taken in the Russian Federation, Czech Republic and in the countries that had self-declared the disease freedom: Hungary, Romania, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine and Republic of Belarus, as well as current epidemic situation in the South-East Asian countries were presented and discussed at the meeting. Alexey Igolkin, Head of Reference Laboratory for ASF, FGBI “Federal Centre for Animal Health” (FGBI “ARRIAH”) subordinated to the Rosselkhoznadzor, represented the Russian Federation.
Representatives of ASF-infected countries made presentations on current epidemic situation and taken measures that were focused on the wild boar role in the infection spread, scope of laboratory tests as well as routes of the long-distance infection spread. It should be noted that in some countries (Lithuania, Poland, Belarus) compensations for found dead wild boars are paid out of the state budget that contributes to early dead animal removal from the environment and their disposal as well as allows the fullest possible information on numbers of dead animals to be obtained.
According to the presentation made by the RF representative, number of ASF outbreaks in domestic pigs has decreased by 60-70% in 2018 and in current year as compared to the same previous periods. This is attributed to decline in illegal domestic pig movements owing to putting electronic veterinary certification in place in 2018. At the same time, number of outbreaks in wild boars is increasing.
Pig industry is growing in the Russian Federation despite of ASF situation. Total population is about 2.5 mln pigs. Therewith, proportion of pig backyards is steadily decreasing. The Russian Veterinary Services have applied ASF regionalization of the country regions. Programme on pig establishment compartmentalization is in place. Number of wild boars is regulated. Electronic certification system is used for movements of live animals and products thereof.
According to the Russian exerts’ predictions, the risk of ASF introduction to the Far East region is very high due to intensive ASFV infection spread in the South-East Asia. Currently, enhanced veterinary surveillance is carried out in the region, particularly in bordering areas.
In the view of the Russian party, taking into account transboundary ASF spread that requires adequately extensive measures, intergovernmental coordination group comprising veterinarians, hunters, scientists and governmental officials should be set up for elaboration a strategy for control of ASF spread by wild boars and for agreeing applicable policy in this field.
In the conclusion of the meeting, Dr. Bernard Van Goethem, President of GF-TADs for Europe, indicated its significance. The next meeting of GF-TADs experts will be held in Bulgaria in September 2019.
Press-Office of the FGBI “ARRIAH”