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China is Capable of Controlling ASF

DATE:2019-02-13       SOURCE:

China is Capable of Controlling ASF

- Director General of OIE Monique Eloit’s Comments on ASF Prevention and Control in China

Dr. Monique Eloit, Director General of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), recently has been interviewed about African Swine Fever’s (ASF) prevention and control work. According to the Director General of OIE, great efforts have been made by China in order to prevent and control the disease since the ASF outbreak was reported in the country last August. OIE recognized China’s work on ASF information reporting and epidemic control. At present, the numbers of ASF outbreaks in China have been declining and OIE is very confident that China can bring them under control. However, it also needs to realize that ASF is a difficult disease to be controlled, and we must be patient and ready for a long-term control.


Reporter: Nice to meet you! Could you please explain the characteristics of ASF outbreaks and development around the world since 2018?


Eloit: Since 2018, the ASF epidemic situation has been relatively severe. The epidemic is still spreading in many regions. At present, ASF has been spreading to China, Mongolia and other countries. Therefore, the current global epidemic situation we need to face will be more complicated than ever before.


Reporter: According to the outbreaks and development of ASF in other countries as well as quantity and stocking density of live hogs in China, how do you evaluate Chinas efforts and role in ASF prevention and control ?


Eloit: Since China is the largest producer of live hogs as well as the largest consumer of pork in the world, the epidemic affects not only the live hog industry but also the international trade. I would like to say that, after the outbreak to which the Chinese government paid great attention, and effective prevention and control measures have been immediately taken by governments at all levels from the central government to the local ones. I highly recognized the prevention and control measures taken by China. As time goes by, we can see that a great number of major measures to control the epidemic have been adopted, including restricting the transportation of live hogs and prohibiting the feeding of kitchen wastes with the quality of prevention and control being constantly improved. I am very confident that China can do a better job of controlling the epidemic.


Reporter: What difficulties is the world facing with in terms of ASF prevention and control? What shall countries around the world do?


Eloit: The most difficult issue on global ASF prevention and control is that effective vaccine is not yet developed. As a result, we must implement strict bio-security measures in order to prevent cases caused by illegal smuggling and goods carried by tourists. ASF is not only a problem for hog raisers, but also for everyone, including tourists and visitors. Therefore, I appeal to everyone to be concerned about the issue.


Reporter: How do you view the first case of ASF in China?


Eloit: It's a bad news for me. As a giant hog producer as well as a major consumer of pork, China never found ASF before. Although we believe that China has the ability to deal with it and the Chinese government attaches great importance to the disease, we are worried about the pressure on neighboring countries because they are incapable of coping with related issues. Hence, beside domestic prevention and control, China also takes huge responsibilities. Currently, China has close trade contacts with most countries in the world who also expressed their concerns. I am firmly believed that the Chinese government and all Chinese people have the confidence to take responsibilities and strengthen cooperation to ensure the development of partner countries while maintaining domestic economic and social development.


Reporter: How do you evaluate Chinas policies of ASF prevention and control ?


Eloit: From the perspective of current situation, Chinas policies are correct. From November 2018, we have witnessed that the epidemic in China has shown a downward trend, and the assessment is relatively optimistic. However, uncertainties still exit in the long run. I would like to point out that exchange and contact among countries are very important. Although situation and system varies from country to country, strengthening technical exchanges and publicizing related knowledge will greatly benefit ASF prevention and control.


Reporter: How do you evaluate the impact of the epidemic on the live hog industry and the market?


Eloit: At present, ASF is the most threatening animal disease to the hog industry. Therefore, the disease will definitely affect the production and market prices of hogs and cause production losses. Given that China has taken effective measures, I believe the disease will not pose a huge influence on Chinas hog market if the disease has been continuously  controlled in an effective way.

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