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Bulgaria Hosts Event to Discuss ASF Control

Bulgaria organised a round table on the topic of African swine fever, inviting Balkan countries Serbia, Romania, Greece and North Macedonia, according to a press release from Bulgaria’s food safety authority BFSA.

The two-day meeting in Sofia focussed on African swine fever, the national epidemiological situation, challenges and control measures. It was was organised by the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency. 

At the meeting, national experts presented the disease situation in their respective countries and shared when they first encountered ASF. They also discussed how the disease has progressed to date. Complications of outbreaks, prevention and response measures, information campaigns and good practices established for disease prevention and control were among the highlights discussed by the experts from the five countries.

The main conclusion reached by the participants is that due to the continued drastic spread of African swine fever in some places, including the re-emergence in areas that were free, it is necessary and important to join the efforts of countries in the region and ensure adequate resources to prevent, control and eradicate the disease. Parties should actively cooperate, implement a common control approach and transparently exchange information on the current situation and measures against ASF.

A comprehensive and robust surveillance system, early detection and reporting are key to ASF prevention, control and eradication strategy. There is a need to ensure commitment and coordination between sectors (governmental and non-governmental institutions and organizations) in affected countries, as well as those at risk, for the prevention, control and eradication of the disease. Wide information and continuous training of all interested parties is essential.

Experts agreed that biosecurity systems and compliance are critical to preventing the introduction and further spread of ASF in both commercial and non-commercial pig farms. Preventive slaughter in non-commercial pig farms with low biosecurity measures in high-risk areas should be considered as part of the strategy to prevent and control the spread of the disease.

The representatives of the five countries agreed that the development of a long-term strategy for the management of wild boar population in the context of ASF control is necessary, which should be considered based on the situation in each individual country and the general approach needed to control the disease , in particular at borders between countries.

Last but not least, the experts discussed the involvement of farmers and hunters in the prevention, control and eradication of ASF.

Source : The Pig Site