The OIE Sub Regional Representation for southeast Asia (SRR SEA) and FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO RAP) have organised the second session of the African Swine Fever (ASF) coordination meeting on 24 February 2021 under the Global Framework for Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF TAD’s) umbrella.
The meeting focused on ASF biosecurity and communication. It was attended by 78 participants from South East Asian Veterinary Services, the OIE Reference Laboratory on ASF in Australia, academia, private sectors, research organisations, and partners.
The first part of the meeting focused on biosecurity. Having a biosecurity strategy and plan which is acceptable, cost-effective, and sustainable to implement at the local level was highlighted as an important step in biosecurity application. A changing mindset and changing behaviors of stakeholders involved along the pig value chain was discussed as one of the challenges amongst many others such as swill feeding, applying biosecurity at smallholder farmers. The balanced approach of identifying incentives, and enforcement of regulations (penalties) was talked through during panel discussion. Moreover, building and strengthening capacities, fostering partnerships, promoting biosecurity culture through leadership, trainings and awareness were described as key areas to overcome the current challenges.
The second part focused on communication. Participants viewed a video developed by FAO on-farm biosecurity to prevent ASF occurrence and a video developed by Hong Kong Tai Lung Veterinary Laboratory on ASF laboratory biosafety and biosecurity measures. The two videos conveyed key messages of farm/laboratory biosecurity measures related to ASF in a very engaging way. The OIE Communication Department also updated the meeting on the OIE existing and upcoming ASF communication campaign activities and reiterated the importance of multisectoral and multilateral collaboration in effective communication to address ASF risks.
The ASF pre meeting questionnaire findings revealed that the member countries made progress on biosecurity and communication activities in 2020. Interestingly, biosecurity and communication continue to remain priority topics along with others such as epidemiological investigation, surveillance wild boar study/ management.
The objectives of the meeting were as follows:
– Pre-Meeting Questionnaire results (Dr Ashish Sutar, OIE SRR)
– Country Presentation: Biosecurity application in practice (Dr Sam Castro, BAI Philippines)
– Private Sector: Successful biosecurity actions vs ASF (Dr Mayenne Dimacali, Green Feed)
– International Non-Government Organisation: Field observations and actions in Lao PDR (Dr Antoine Lury, AVSF)
– Field application of biosecurity measures at small scale farmer level (Dr Hu Suk Lee, ILRI)
– Incentives and challenges to biosecurity in smallholder and semi-commercial sectors (Dr Trevor Drew, ACDP)
ASF animation: be a champion farmer! / VDO (Daniela Scalise, FAO)
African Swine Fever Laboratory Biosecurity Measures / VDO (Dr Christopher Brackman, TLVL)
Reinforcing communication efforts on African swine fever (Lucía Escati and Samuel Hinneh, OIE HQ)
The first ASF virtual coordination meeting was held on 18 June 2020 which focused on “ASF epidemiological situation, progress on ASF prevention and control and current needs”. Please refer to meeting documents including presentations here.
The latest situation updates on ASF and its impact in affected countries in the Asia Pacific region can be found on the OIE regional website here.