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The geographic distinctiveness of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Europe and Asia

Introduced by Kun-Chan Tsai, FFTC

The occurrence and prevalence ASF has negatively affected global pig meat supply, raising meat price into the recorded high, incluing bacon in USA. Asia accounts for nearly 56% of global pig meat production, and China is ranked first providing 53 million metric tone in 2017, according to FAO. 

FAO, OIE, and EC has jointly published an handbook, edited by Gubert et al. (2019), which provides concepts and methods on ASF spread by managing wild boar. Through this book, people can learn more aobut the ecology of ASF wild host, wild boar, and take precautionary and necessary steps to stop the contacts between domesticated pigs and wild boars. Furtherly, there has already been research progress in oral ASF vaccine (see Barasona et al. (2019) for wild boar to rduce ASF viral load in wild boar populations to reduce the viral spread and decrease economic threat.

Contrary to the ASF transmission pattern in Europe, the postulate ASF spread route in Asia may be through contiminated feed and water, as well as shoes, clothing, vehicles and machinery in swine farmlands (see Normile (2009)). It seems the intensification of biosecurity concepts and regulation to the pig production value chain is an more efficient way to tackle ASF epidemics for the dominant small scale pig farmers. Until now in Southeast Asia, Japan, Malaysia, and Taiwan are the countries without ASF epidemic reports, though Classical Swine Fever (CSF) in Japan. 

Regional-level collaboration and extensive biosecutiry education to pig value chain on ASF epidemics in Asia might be an alternative and current available option before the launch of ASF vaccine.

Gubert et al. FAO Animal Production and Health Manual No. 22. Rome, FAO, OIE and EC.
Barasona et al. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 26 (2019) |
Normile Science (2019) | doi:10.1126/science.aay0376