A new European strategy to combat African Swine Fever (ASF) is being sought by Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, backed by an increase in EU funding to help the countries tackle the disease.
A joint letter, signed by the agriculture ministers of the four countries has been sent to the European Commissioner for Health & Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, following a meeting with in Lithuania last month.
The letter, which highlights several action points to combat ASF, includes the warning that any new strategy would be of “little use” without the provision of finance to carry the action through.
Key demands include the introduction of new preventative and control measures to deal with ASF in wild boars and domestic pigs alike. Increased and continuous action is also called for in relation to raising public awareness of ASF with pig keepers, vets, hunters and others.
On the finance side, the core demand is for the European Commission to provide 100% funding for such things as disease sampling tests, awareness campaigns, increased laboratory work and the introduction of enhanced biosecurity on farms.
Continued research attention concerning ASF is also requested, with more “experts” needing to be recruited to help improve knowledge and understanding of the disease and its spread across Europe.
The four ministers, signing off on a bold concluding statement, added: “We are convinced that the application of joint measures can lead us to the successful eradication of ASF from the region.”