ITALY, Parma. Improved surveillance, communication and collaboration are key to controlling the spread of African swine fever in Europe, according to a new risk assessment carried out by EFSA.
EFSA evaluated the possibility of spread among nine disease-free countries – Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.
The agency concludes that the chances of the disease spreading among these countries within one year of introduction are very high (66 to 100%). However, the chances of the disease spreading west into other EU Member States within the same time frame are rated as very low (0 to 15%).
The assessment estimates the potential for the disease to spread across south-eastern Europe. It was requested by the European Commission to support efforts to control and prevent the spread of the disease in the region.
Control measures – which have been in place in the EU since 2014 – should continue to focus on the importance of early detection and preparedness. In particular, EFSA recommends: