Virtual Meeting of the Standing Group of Experts on African Swine Fever for Asia

The SGE-ASF for Asia and the Pacific met for the 5th time via a virtual meeting on 5th February 2021. Members affected by ASF presented on the current situation, progress made in understanding and control of the disease and how the swine industry has changed as a result of ASF. It has been approximately two and a half years since the first report of African swine fever in the region causing the devastating impacts to swine production. There is a still a lot of work to do to be able to successfully control the disease, but a lot has been learnt and some big improvements in biosecurity and farming practices have had an impact.

Good biosecurity remains the cornerstone for protecting farms and controlling spread of ASF. There is ongoing research and development into ASF vaccines, but there is still no approved or licensed vaccine against ASF. There were discussions on the dangers of using unproven and unlicensed vaccines and potentials consequences such as new strains emerging, contamination or ineffective vaccines.

The continued impact of ASF reminds us of the need to work together as a regional and global community to successfully control the disease. Coordination mechanism such as the FAO/OIE GFTADs with platforms like the SGE-ASF facilitate multilateral engagement, information sharing and a platform to learn from each other’s experiences.

The agenda and presentations from the meeting are available here.