African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread across the world, killing domestic and wild pigs and heightening panzootic risks for all countries. It is time to join forces to put an end to this deadly pig disease, whose impact goes far beyond animal health and welfare, as it causes severe production and economic losses and threatens food security. Today, at the 87th OIE General Session and after the presentation of a report on the ‘Strategic challenges to global control of African swine fever’, the World Assembly called on countries to consider ASF control as a high priority and the OIE committed to implement a global initiative to better support them in the control of the disease using the Global Framework for the progressive control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs).
Control of ASF is possible, but country efforts need to be part of a coordinated global approach to ensure their success and sustainability. During the General Session, the OIE received from its Members the mandate to address ASF by improving national, regional and global coordination under the umbrella of the GF-TADs. Through a Resolution that will be submitted for formal endorsement on Thursday, the OIE took leadership in collaboration with FAO to identify key pillars required for the global control of ASF, in compliance with the relevant OIE Standards, and to support the establishment of expert networks and research alliances around the world, among other actions.
Furthermore, the resolution urges countries to curb the spread of ASF by putting in place the following measures:
- consider ASF as a disease that requires risk management;
- implement OIE international standards;
- keep transparency of the global situation;
- make use of the OIE PVS pathway;
- increase risk communication activities.