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The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched a new campaign to raise awareness and help halt the spread of African swine fever (ASF) in southeast Europe.

The campaign targets countries that EFSA identified in 2019 as regions of concern because of their proximity to countries where ASF is present. They include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo[1], Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

According to EFSA, the campaign will complement the ongoing efforts of the European Commission and other international organisations to work towards the eradication of the disease in Europe.

It aims to raise awareness and understanding of ASF by sharing messages with groups of people and individuals who come into contact with domestic pigs and wild boar, such as pig farmers and hunters. EFSA also plans to engage with veterinary organizations, hunting associations, farmers’ groups, customs officers, border police, local governments, tourist operators and travelers, an EFSA release said.

The campaign’s key message, “Detect, Prevent, Report,” emphasizes that an ASF outbreak can cause devastating effects. Detection, prevention and reporting are essential to contain the disease that affects both domestic pigs and wild pigs, EFSA said in a release.

Although, the ASF virus is harmless to humans, it has caused significant economic disruption in many countries. There are currently no vaccines for ASF, so an outbreak can necessitate the slaughter of large numbers of farm-kept pigs in affected areas.

Farm Journal’s Pork | Jennifer Shike | September

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