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Chapter 7
Organizational arrangements during an ASF emergency campaign


The national CVO, or equivalent such as a director of veterinary services, should have overall technical responsibility for preparedness for and management of ASF emergencies. The appropriate government minister will, of course, be ultimately responsible.

In recent years, the national veterinary services of many countries have been restructured and rationalized. This has included regionalization and devolution of veterinary services, privatization of veterinary services or downgrading of government services, separation of policy functions from operational functions and separation of administrative responsibilities of veterinary laboratories and veterinary field services.

These new structures have evolved to meet the demands of delivering routine animal-health services. They are often unsuitable, however, for managing a major animal-health emergency such as an ASF eradication campaign. In such an emergency, there is a need to make rapid decisions based on analysis of the best information available from all sources. It must be possible to convert those decisions into clear orders that can be conveyed to those charged with the responsibility for carrying them out. There must be means of knowing that orders have been carried out and with what results. In short, there must be efficient mechanisms in place for transmission of information and instructions from the national veterinary services headquarters to the front line of the disease eradication campaign in the field and laboratory and for feedback of information to headquarters.

It is clear that for these things to happen quickly and efficiently in an emergency, a country's veterinary services must be organized as a command structure or line-management system at least for the duration of the emergency response to an ASF outbreak.

There should be forward planning so that appropriate structures and lines of responsibility can be rapidly and efficiently put in place when an ASF emergency arises. This may include organizing one or more of the following well in advance of any emergency:

In many countries, the private sector is small or non-existent and it may be necessary to rely on non-veterinary assistance for disease control. There should therefore be a mechanism to mobilize the resources available in related sectors such as agricultural extension, giving appropriate training. In controlling animal diseases, it is vital to identify all potential participants and ensure that they are prepared to act immediately in the event of an epizootic.


Countries may find it very useful to establish a CCEAD that can be convened as soon as there is an ASF emergency and that can meet regularly during the emergency response. It would be an essentially technical committee, whose role would be to review epidemiological and other disease-control information, recommend activation of contingency plans, oversee the campaign and advise the CVO and the minister on future planning of the campaign.

A suggested composition of the CCEAD might be:

If the command structure cannot be implemented, it is essential that a CCEAD be established, so that there can be a consensus approach to the conduct of the ASF campaign.


Countries should establish permanent national animal disease control centres. In the event of an outbreak of ASF or other emergency animal disease, the centre should be responsible to the CVO for coordinating national emergency disease-control measures. The centre should be in the national veterinary services headquarters. The national epidemiology unit should be attached to the centre or should work in close collaboration with it. The CVO may delegate day-to-day responsibilities for implementing policy to the head of the centre, who would normally be a senior government veterinarian. The responsibilities of the national animal disease control centre in the emergency response would include:

The national animal disease control centre should be fully equipped with 1:50 000 maps of the country and communication equipment for liaison with regional veterinary services or local animal disease control centres and veterinary laboratories, including telephone, radio, e-mail and fax. The centre should be linked with the emergency disease information system.


During the ASF emergency, district offices of the veterinary services closest to the infected foci or district offices of the agricultural extension services act as local animal disease control centres. Teams should be able to travel in one day to and from any site for surveillance or other disease-control activities. Locations for temporary local disease-control centres, such as local government offices, should be negotiated for in advance.

Regional and district veterinary officers should be in charge of disease-control operations in their areas, with the right to enter farms, collect samples and take measures to prevent movement of pigs and pig products within and out of the areas under their control. They should be provided with materials for collection and transmission of samples, a refrigerator for short-term storage, protective clothing, stores of disinfectant, a vehicle and fuel and means to contact the CVO. Political structures should enable them to enlist the cooperation of other services, such as police, agricultural extension officers and the media to prevent dissemination of disease. They should be provided with materials to carry out a public information campaign and intensive farmer training and information. Above all, they should be at all times in possession of accurate information about the status of the disease and slaughter and compensation levels.

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