The Experts in Animal Health

Later this month, scientists around the world will attend the 2022 Global African Swine Fever (ASF) Research Alliance (GARA) Scientific Meeting with the objective to increase our understanding of ASF, which has affected hundreds of millions of pigs in the last few years around the world, especially in Asia. However, science and technology alone are not enough without sensible policies from the government.

The countries of North America and Europe demonstrated decades ago that ASF and CSF can be eradicated with proper government policy and adequate scientific and technological tools. At both local and national levels, governments should develop and implement science-based animal disease outbreak emergency management policies that will encourage the full participation and support of pork producers, processors and consumers. These policies must consider:

  1. What will happen if the government does not adequately compensate swine producers for their loss due to ASF outbreaks?
  2. What is the best way to cull/dispose of thousands of pigs in a short period of time in a restricted area, considering animal welfare, economic and environmental impact, and technical feasibility?
  3. The negative impacts of biosafety measures such as disinfectants on environment, food safety, and human health should be carefully investigated.

Hopefully those attending the GARA meeting will be considering these issues as well as scientific issues and advances.

Jishu Shi

en_USEnglish (United States)