Preparation of African swine fever contingency plans

FAO Animal Production
and Health Manual
No. 8

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African swine fever (ASF) is a viral haemorrhagic disease of swine generally characterized by high morbidity and high mortality. The disease is known to have devastated swine farming in highly industrialized, small commercial and backyard swine holdings, with concomitant closure of animal and meat export markets, ravaged swine populations, and destroyed individual and family livelihoods. ASF is one of the more difficult transboundary animal diseases to control as no successful vaccine has yet been developed; it is transmitted by direct contact between infective and susceptible swine, and by infected soft ticks of the Ornithodoros genus; and it has several wildlife reservoirs in areas where it is endemic. The ASF virus can last for long periods in contaminated environments or cured pork products, which can be a source of infection or introduction of the disease to distant areas.

The disease, present in most of sub-Saharan Africa, made its way to Europe in the late 1950s, where campaigns for its eradication on the mainland took more than 30 years to conclude. In the 1970s and 1980s, the disease was introduced several times into a few countries in the Americas, with eventual elimination only after national and international concerted action. In mid-2007 ASF was first reported in the Caucasus and spread within the region, causing concern to swine producers in Eastern Europe and beyond.

This manual is based on the manual on ASF (FAO Animal Health Manual No. 11) published in 2001, updated to capture new knowledge and adapted to cover European settings.

      Table of contents

      Acronyms and abbreviations

      1. Suggested format and contents of a national contingency plan

        - Nature of the disease
        - Risk analysis
        - Prevention strategies
        - Early warning contingency plan
        - Strategies for control and eradication
        - Organizational arrangements for emergencies
        - Support plans
        - Action plans
        - Annexes

      2. Nature of the disease

        - Definition
        - World distribution
        - Aetiology
        - Epidemiological features
        - Clinical signs
        - Pathology
        - Immunity
        - Diagnosis

      3. Risk analysis

        - Introduction
        - Principles of risk analysis
        - Who should carry out the risk analysis?
        - Risk assessment
        - The value of risk assessments for contingency planning
        - Further reading on this valuable methodology

      4. Prevention strategies

        - Introduction
        - Import quarantine policy
        - Swill feeding controls
        - Containment of pigs

      5. Early warning and contingency planning

        - Introduction
        - Training of animal health staff in early recognition, collection and dispatch of diagnostic specimens
        - Farmer awareness/education programmes
        - Specialist diagnostic team
        - Laboratory diagnostic capabilities
        - International reference laboratories and collaborating centres

      6. Early reaction contingency planning for an emergency

        - Introduction
        - Epidemiological features influencing control, elimination or eradication strategies
        - Strategies for eradication
        - Zoning
        - Actions to be taken in infected zones
        - Actions to be taken in surveillance zones
        - Actions to be taken in disease-free zones and compartments
        - Repopulation
        - Crucial factors for the success of a control/eradication campaign
        - Verification of eradication and national, zonal or compartmental freedom from the disease

      7. Organizational arrangements during an emergency campaign

        - Responsibilities and command structures
        - Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Diseases
        - National animal disease control centre
        - Local animal disease control centres

      8. Support plans

        - Financial plans
        - Resource plans
        - Legislation

      9. Action plan

        - Investigation phase
        - Alert phase
        - Operational phase
        - International reporting
        - Obtaining political support
        - Public awareness campaign
        - Slaughter, destruction and decontamination
        - Prevention of movement
        - Surveillance
        - Stand-down phase

      10. Training, testing and revision of contingency plans

        - Simulation exercises
        - Training
        - Regular updating of contingency plans


        1. FAO and OIE experts and reference laboratories

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ISBN 978-92-5-106426-9

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