Launch: Manual for assessing cross-border African swine fever risk


Bangkok (Thailand), 25 April 2022 — The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) in collaboration with City University of Hong Kong (CityU), commissioned a study on African swine fever (ASF) cross-border risk assessment in South-East Asia, China, Timor Leste, and Papua New Guinea to better understand the different risk pathways for ASFV (re)introduction in the region. As part of the study, the ASF risk assessment manual was developed to guide country participants when undertaking the entry risk assessment (cross-border risk assessment) in their respective countries.

This manual includes an entry assessment component as defined in a WOAH risk analysis framework, which consists of describing the biological pathways necessary for an importation activity to introduce pathogenic agents into a particular environment, and estimating the probability of that complete process occurring. It provides a guide for cross-border qualitative risk assessment as performed during the ASF Cross-Border Risk Assessment – South-East Asia project.

The objective is to provide detailed guidance for performing a risk assessment for the entry of ASFV into a country. The manual is based on the Terrestrial Animal Health Code Chapter 2.1 – Import Risk Analysis (WOAH, 2021). While a brief introduction to exposure and consequence assessment are also included, this manual focuses on the entry of the pathogen into a country.

The outcome of this entry risk assessment should be used to inform the subsequent steps of a comprehensive risk assessment which include both exposure and consequence assessment. While the manual focuses on ASF, the underlying principle can be applied for conducting cross-border risk assessments for other transboundary animal diseases (TADs). If one intends to use this manual for another TAD, it is highly recommended to go through the literature to identify and characterise the hazard and to review its epidemiology as the first step of risk assessment process.

This manual should be used in conjunction with other resources, including the Terrestrial Animal Health Code (Chapter 2.1. Import risk analysis and Chapter 15.1. Infection with African swine fever virus) and Handbook on Import Risk Analysis for Animals and Animal Products Vol I (WOAH, 2010).