African Swine Fever spread in China prompts emergency meeting at UN
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has called for an emergency meeting to examine the most recent developments in China following the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.
This, as they agreed that there’s a regional response to the threat that ASF could spread to other countries in Asia.
The specialists – veterinary epidemiologists, and laboratory experts – as well as other senior technical staff, directly involved with regulatory aspects of disease prevention and control planning, are drawn from nine countries with geographical proximity to China, and perceived to be at risk of a transboundary spread of ASF.
The participants are from Cambodia, China, Japan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Outbreaks of African Swine Fever have occurred in Europe and the Americas as early as the 1950’s and through the 1980’s. However, in 2007, a new introduction of ASF occurred in the Republic of Georgia, which then spread to neighboring countries and deeply affected Eastern Europe.
In Asia, ASF was first detected at a pig farm in the Siberian region of the Russian Federation in March 2017.
In China, the virus was discovered in the country’s northeast at the beginning of August this year. Since then, five additional cases have been reported in other areas of China as much as one thousand kilometers apart.
China produces more than half of the world’s pigs and, while it poses no direct threat to human health, ASF can devastate the swine population.
In its most virulent form, it is 100 percent fatal to the animals who contract the virus. To contain its spread within China, the authorities have culled as many 40,000 pigs so far.