Pig disease workshop to focus on African swine fever

A workshop to improve coordination of research on pig diseases, in particular African swine fever (ASF), will be held in Beijing on 12 March 2019.

Organized by the European Union, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), and the STAR-IDAZ International Research Consortium on Animal Health (IRC), the workshop will bring together experts in animal health and research policy to share knowledge and experience on developing control strategies and collaborating to find solutions to the threat of ASF and other pig diseases.

China has the world’s largest population of pigs, making up nearly 50% of the global herd. ASF appeared for the first time in China in August 2018. In Europe, ASF has been spreading from the east westwards since 2014.

ASF is a severe viral disease of pigs that is highly infectious, and for which there is currently no available vaccine. The disease poses a serious threat to farm livelihoods, trade and meat supplies.

The workshop will review the current ASF situation in Europe and China, and the research needs on ASF control as identified by the Global African Swine Fever Research Alliance (GARA). It will also consider a roadmap on vaccine development, epidemiology and disease control strategies.

Alex Morrow, coordinator of STAR-IDAZ IRC, said: “This is an important initiative, bringing scientists from China and Europe together to share knowledge and collaborate on working together to control an extremely serious animal disease problem.”