2019 International Symposium on Prevention and Control of African Swine Fever concluded with success on March 8. Experts from European and Asian countries shared their disease prevention and control experience. They exchanged technical know-how and provided Taiwan with various advice on prevention and control measures as well as laboratory test methods to combat ASF. They also praised Taiwan’s inspection measures at immigration control. The specialists expressed their deep concern about ASF is a severe threat to pig production system. They stressed that transparent report procedure, precise and rapid diagnosis technique, strict border control, stop smuggling and raise public awareness on disease prevention are all crucial to putting an end to ASF’s propagation. The cooperation between the general public and stock owners is regarded as the foundation of national prevention and control scheme. Through joint collaboration and shared resources like information exchange can realize the goal of regional prevention in different countries.
The symposium hosted 343 participants in the opening ceremony without empty seats, attracting attention on ASF-related issues from all walks of life. After the ceremony, epidemiologist, Professor Dirk Pfeiffer, received the media interview and gave recognition to border control and administrative sanction in Taiwan, which enabled people to give heed to ASF invasion. Nevertheless, he held a rather conservative attitude toward the outbreak of ASF and current development of vaccine. Further, he suggested the authorities concerned to deal with the ban on feeding pigs with food waste according to the actual situation.
Relevant issues have also been discussed in the symposium. Regarding the prevention and control of ASF, in order to prohibit the spread in Asia, measures should be taken to enhance domestic and international veterinary system, promote hog industry collaboration, detect prevention loophole, crack down illegal animal or animal products trade, improve ranch biosecurity and take in correct diagnosis monitoring. Emergency epidemic prevention plan should be drafted and through the rehearsal can people respond to the possible situation and take notice of the epidemic risk from wild boar. In terms of quarantine and border control, strict luggage inspection and quarantine can reduce the ASF transmitted via ecommerce or passenger’s luggage. In the meantime, educate the general public about ASF severity to call for more support for quarantine policy. Respecting the laboratory diagnosis, construct complete laboratory network and testing capacity because rapid proper diagnosis is essential to the control of ASF. International experts advised that the inspection measures ought to take reference of the OIE manual or scientific publication.
Chairman of the symposium Prof. Lur Huu-sheng requested experts from different countries to stay in contact after the event and expected to build continuous collaboration in designated areas with international organizations. The Council of Agriculture (COA) claimed that the international specialists all acknowledged Taiwan’s dedication and contribution to the joint regional prevention with organizing this symposium. Through international cooperation and multilateral communication, ASF could be prevented from circulating in Asia. It requires everyone’s effort to comply with the quarantine policy so that ASF can be hindered out of the country. The safety of hog industry in Taiwan can thus be ensured.