In view of the wide spread of African swine fever (ASF) in Russia including its spread in wild fauna as well as taking into account Spanish Veterinary Service’s significant experience of the disease control during 1960-1995, the Rosselkhoznadzor applied to the General Directorate of Agricultural Production Hygiene of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment with a request to hold a videoconference in order to share experience in the field of development and implementation of measures aimed at prevention of the infection spread including its spread in wild boars.Representatives of the Rosselkhoznadzor and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of Spain as well as experts from the Veterinary research center in Valdemos (CISA-Valdemos) and Professor José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Professor, Head of the Epizootological Department of the University of Madrid, Head of the National program for African swine fever eradication in Spain participated in the videoconference.
In Spain there are two active ASF control programs: ASF eradication program and ASF surveillance program. In addition, since 1960-s a ban on feeding pigs with catering waste has been in place in Spain. In consequence of taken measures Spain has been free from ASF since 1994, but National disease control program is still active in the country. The Program in particular provides for ASF surveillance studies, biosafety measures for each pig farm, financial aid to the farmers in biosecurity of their premises, measures for strict control of animal identification and movement as well as standard requirements for pig farms irrespective of their pig population.
During the actions aimed at the disease eradication mobile veterinary teams functioned in Spain, which monitored implementation of measures focused on the prevention of ASF virus introduction into any given farm. In case of a farm’s non-compliances with the requirements the farm operator was notified of the detected non-compliances and the farm operation was subsequently suspended if such non-compliances were not removed.
All the disease eradication measures were sponsored by the European Union (60%) and Spanish government (40%).
José Sánchez-Vizcaíno mentioned that wild boars were not the main source of the disease spread but they became ASF infected while eating contaminated catering waste and during contact with the diseased domestic pigs. As soon as the spread of the disease reduced in domestic pigs it also reduced in wild boars. The Spanish researches determined that high density of the boars’ population significantly increased the risk of their infection. In this respect one of the ASF preventive measures was reduction of the wild boars’ population. In order to exclude the ASF spread in wild boars the Spanish researchers recommend avoiding wild boars’ exposure to infected objects including catering waste, preventing contacts between wild boars and domestic pigs as well as persistent reducing wild boars’ population up to optimum size.
In line with legal requirements all Spanish hunters submit biological material from each killed boar for ASF testing. Representatives of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment agreed to provide the Rosselkhoznadzor with the discussed programs and legal acts aimed at African swine fever eradication and prevention of its re-occurrence in Spain.
The Rosselkhoznadzor highly appreciated the contribution of all the participants of the videoconference, the General Directorate of Agricultural Production Hygiene of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment and Spanish Embassy in organization of the videoconference on African swine fever control.