Global action needed now to halt spread of deadly pig disease

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and FAO launch a joint initiative for the Global Control of African swine fever. Pork is the most consumed meat in the world, representing 35.6 percent of global meat consumption. In recent years, African swine Fever (ASF) - which may cause up to 100 percent mortality in pigs - has become a major crisis for the pork industry, causing massive losses in pig populations and generating drastic economic consequences.

Current scenario :

Currently affecting several countries of Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe, and with no effective vaccine, the disease is not only impeding animal health and welfare but has detrimental impacts on the livelihoods of farmers.

"Today, 51 countries are affected by African swine fever. Amid the difficult situation posed by COVID-19, ASF continues to spread, intensifying the current health and socioeconomic crises," said Dr Matthew Stone, OIE Deputy Director General for International Standards and Science.  

The Initiative for the Global Control of ASF aims to:

1. Improve the capability of countries to control (prevent, respond, eradicate) ASF using OIE International Standards and best practices that are based on the latest science.

2.Establish an effective coordination and cooperation framework for the global control of ASF.

3. Facilitate business continuity ensuring safe production and trade to protect food systems.

On a global scale, the sustained spread of ASF poses a threat to food security, economic and rural development.

The disease represents a barrier to the agricultural sector to reach its full potential, generate employment and alleviate poverty, and acts as a disincentive to investment in the pig sector. Global control of ASF will thus contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, notably Goals 1 (No Poverty) and 2 (Zero Hunger).

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