The European Committee of the Regions, on the initiative of Sławomir
Sosnowski, Member of the Lubelskie Regional Assembly, will adopt an
on African swine fever (ASF) at its October plenary session. Local and
regional authorities point out that the African swine fever epidemic
constitutes a threat to rural development and the pork market.
The situation concerning the ASF epidemic is a threat to the
environment, the economy and, most importantly, people living in rural
areas and who are involved in pig production. The objective of this
opinion is to call on the European Commission to adopt more decisive
measures and legislative solutions to achieve a balance in the
development of rural areas, through means such as regulating the
population of boars, which are the main carriers of the ASF virus, in
central and eastern Europe.
According to Sławomir Sosnowski (PL/EPP/Polish People's Party), "ASF is
a problem that cannot be solved because there is no vaccination against
it. We must recognise that ASF is a problem for the whole of the EU,
including in terms of the economy and trade. Its effects must be
mitigated. We must do everything in our power to find a vaccination
against ASF. We must strengthen international cooperation on this issue
and call for financial support."
The CoR stresses that African swine fever is a threat and challenge at
the local, regional, national and European levels, which is why it also
calls for all stakeholders to fight this highly dangerous virus through
even greater cooperation. Funding to combat ASF must be increased
immediately and radically, both for ad-hoc measures and research into
ASF, including an effective vaccination against this disease. The CoR
also calls on the European Commission to further activate, monitor and
evaluate actions to combat ASF at the Member State level, with the
participation of local and regional authorities.
The speed at which the virus has spread to its current level could lead
to the collapse of the European pork market and deprive hundreds of
thousands of farmers of their source of income. Cross-border
cooperation is necessary to fight this disease, which has become an
epidemic in several EU Member States and regions (between January and
mid-April 2018, 1492 cases of the illness were recorded in Poland, 782
cases in wild boars in Lithuania, 286 in Latvia, 150 cases in Estonia,
25 in the Czech Republic and 24 in Italy).
African swine fever is a severe, viral and chronic disease in swine. It
was first discovered in Kenya in 1910 and the first cases in Poland
were observed in dead wild boars in February 2014. The virus causing
the disease – ASF – is resistant to high temperatures and smoking and
can even last a thousand days in frozen meat. The mortality of affected
animals is virtually 100 percent.
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