World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Global Cooperation Key To Eradicating Deadly Pig Virus: UN Agency

A disease that may kill every pig it infects and for which there is no effective vaccine, can be eradicated if more countries continue to work together to limit its spread, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday.

IAEA/Laura Gil Martinez African Swine Fever is a highly contagious disease that can cause a devastating impact on small-scale pig farmers. (file March 2017)

The joint appeal from the FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), comes amid an escalation of African Swine Fever (ASF) that has caused massive losses in pig populations.

Spreading risk

"In this globalised world, where diseases can spread rapidly across borders, timely sharing of latest scientific information, international collaboration and notification of ASF are needed to prevent transboundary spread and minimise impact", said FAO Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo.

Today, the virus – which cannot infect people, but which “may cause up to 100 per cent mortality in pigs” - has affected more than 50 countries from sub-Saharan African nations to Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

Most popular meat in the world

There are serious concerns about the economic impact of the disease, since pork is the most consumed meat in the world, representing more than a third of global meat consumption, according to FAO.

In a statement, FAO said that in partnership with OIE, its initiative for the Global Control of African Swine Fever sought to foster partnerships that can strengthen control measures and to minimise the impact of the disease.

Both organisations highlighted however that many countries affected by the virus “lack sufficient human, financial or technical resources to rapidly detect, respond and contain” animal diseases.

Transparent reporting

“Coordinated actions as part of the Global Initiative should take place alongside maintaining transparency regarding reporting of animal diseases and investing in strong and resilient animal health systems”, they said.

Recommended measures include improving the capability of countries to prevent, respond and eradicate the virus by adopting agreed international standards and best practices based on the latest science.

Risk communication “will be a crucial element to effectively address risk pathways and high-risk practices”, FAO and OIE noted.

They also urged countries to establish an effective method for the global control of the disease, while also ensuring support for businesses.

“Today, 51 countries are affected by African Swine Fever,” said Dr Matthew Stone, OIE Deputy Director General for International Standards and Science. “Amid the difficult situation posed by COVID-19, (it) continues to spread, intensifying the current health and socioeconomic crises."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN News: UN Censures ‘heinous Attacks’ In Lake Chad Basin

Conflict over many years has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes in north-east Cameroon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe The Secretary-General strongly condemned “heinous attacks” against civilians in the Lake Chad Basin, a UN spokesperson ... More>>

South Africa: COVID-19 Pandemic Raises The Urgency Of Structural Reforms

South Africa responded swiftly to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the sharp drop in activity adds to long-standing challenges and raises the urgency of structural reforms, according to a new OECD report released today. In the latest Economic Survey of South Africa ... More>>

United Nations: ‘Immediate Humanitarian Assistance’ To Support Beirut

The response to Tuesday’s explosion in Beirut requires global support in order to “surmount the devastating impact” of the crisis facing the Lebanese people, the UN Deputy Special Coordinator for the country said on Thursday. More>>

UN Experts: Turkey Should Preserve Hagia Sophia As Space For Meeting Of Cultures

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul should be maintained as an inter-cultural space reflecting the diversity and complexity of Turkey and its history, and preserving the outstanding universal value which resulted in its World Heritage Status, say two UN human rights ... More>>