GF-TADs and ASF

African swine fever at a glance

African swine fever (ASF) is a contagious disease of domestic and wild pigs. The number of countries and territories affected by ASF has increased in recent years, with notifications from countries across  sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Asia. The ASF situation continues to evolve (access to the latest updates), threatening pig health and welfare worldwide.

Pork accounted for 35.6 percent of global meat production in 2018 (FAO Food Outlook 2019), becoming one of the main sources of animal protein among a growing human population. ASF not only threatens food security worldwide, but also impacts the livelihoods of small- and large-scale pig producers and many other actors involved in the supply chain, other related industries, and have impact on wildlife.

The GF-TADs response

In the absence of an effective ASF vaccine or treatment, the response to the disease must involve coordinated actions at different levels. By empowering global and regional alliances, the GF-TADs Global Steering Committee is a pivotal mechanism for coordinating the fight against this transboundary animal disease.

Regional efforts

Under the umbrella of GF-TADs Europe, a regional Standing Group of Experts on ASF was set up to build up a closer cooperation among countries affected by this disease and thereby, enhance transparency and address the disease in a more collaborative manner across the region (Bern, September 2014).

Based on this experience in Europe, similar initiatives were launched in Asia (Beijing, April 2019 and in the Americas (Bogota, November 2019).

In addition to addressing the particular regional concerns on ASF, these initiatives also facilitate the bridging of expertise from different regions.

Global efforts

Given the complexity of ASF, multisectoral and multi-institutional cooperation is required. GF-TADs has identified key roles to be played by countries, OIE and FAO for the global control of the disease.

To achieve global control, ASF requires adequate risk management through the development and implementation of national control programmes. Risk communication is a crucial component of these programmes to effectively address risk pathways and practices. GF-TADs call on countries to manage risks by implementing OIE International Standards and to maintain transparency through timely disease notification.

OIE and FAO are working in collaboration to launch an initiative for the global control of ASF. The FAO/OIE GF-TADs platform will develop this initiative by promoting national, regional and global partnerships, strengthening prevention and preparedness measures, and minimising the adverse impacts of ASF.