02 December 2010 - Since 2006, Southeast Asia has been continuously hit by virulent strains of the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus. This disease causes reproductive failure in breeding stock and respiratory tract illness in young pigs resulting in significant economic losses to swine producers. In a sub-region hosting some of the highest pig densities worldwide, the persistence of this disease poses both an animal health and a socioeconomic concern.
In view of this, the Bangkok-based Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organized on 8-10 November 2010 a Workshop on Review of Activities on Swine Disease Surveillance and Swine Health Management in Thailand. The rationale behind this event was to compile and exchange currently available information on PRRS as well as on Swine Influenza Viruses (SIV) including the pandemic A/H1N1 influenza.
The workshop was attended by representatives of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. The participants imparted a number of presentations characterizing pig production and health management, including biosecurity levels and the capacity of national laboratories to detect pathogens and antibodies, in their respective countries. Insights were given on the current PRRS and SIV situations. Academicians and international technical agency representatives gave additional presentations on cross-cutting issues like pig biosecurity, pig trade and animal movement, laboratory diagnostics and vaccines, and disease surveillance guidelines.
Currently, through several regional projects, FAO is assisting its member countries to gain a better understanding of pig production and health situation, whereby facilitating information exchange between countries for a more concerted approach to pig health management.
The Animal Production and Health Division (AGA) of FAO will continue to assist Member Countries to take full advantage of the rapidly growing and transforming livestock sector as well as being involved in emergency responses triggered either by the incursion of detrimental animal diseases or by natural and man-made disasters.