In a press release earlier this week, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said its campaign ‘Stop African swine fever’ has been extended for the third consecutive year.
The program is run in partnership with local authorities in eighteen European countries.
“The spread of African swine fever continues at an alarming rate, with recent outbreaks in Italy and two sporadic outbreaks in Germany, close to the borders of France and the Netherlands respectively," said EFSA’s executive director Bernhard Url. "African swine fever is not confined to wild boar in Eastern and Central Europe. It is a global issue that poses a significant threat to pigs, farmers and the pork industry and needs to be tackled by all of us together."
“Empowering stakeholders and economic actors through information is of paramount importance to stop the spread of African swine fever on the continent," added DG SANTE’s director for crisis preparedness in food, animals and plant Bernard Van Goethem. "Thanks to strong actions on the ground, coupled with ongoing information campaigns, the EU has managed to eradicate ASF in a number of countries in recent years, namely Czechia and Belgium. However, we must not lower our guard as new outbreaks are reported regularly."
The campaign will address farmers, veterinarians, and hunters. With the assistance of local farmers’ groups, veterinary organisations, hunting associations, and other relevant bodies, the campaign aims to raise awareness about how to prevent the spread of ASF.
This initiative is part of ongoing efforts by EFSA, the European Commission and other international bodies to halt the spread of ASF in the EU and neighbouring countries.