African Swine Fever Forum: Concept paper

The concept paper aims to provide Forum participants with an overview of what to expect from the ASF Forum. It consists of an introduction to the disease and its spread, describes the objectives of the Forum, outlines the format the event will take and the outcomes it will achieve, and presents a profile of the target audience.

Introduction

African swine fever is a highly contagious viral disease occurring in domestic and wild pigs that has been responsible for devastating economic and production losses in regions of the world where it occurs. Until 2007 it was present predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa, however it has since spread to Eurasia and Europe. In August 2018, ASF was reported in China where it is quickly spreading and causing significant losses for the world's largest pork producer.

The fast spread, the lack of treatment or effective vaccines, along with the serious socio-economic consequences of this disease have put industry and veterinary authorities on high alert around the world. In the Americas, given the wide range in the level of oversight and veterinary capacity to deal with emerging animal diseases, a coordinated mechanism to prevent and respond to the threat of ASF is required.

Objective

The ASF Forum will bring together invited government and industry leaders and decision makers to discuss the threat of ASF to the Americas, to learn from experiences from recent outbreaks in Europe and Asia, and to develop a roadmap for working with government and industry partners and international organizations to prevent and respond to the threat of ASF. The meeting will serve as an initial discussion to launch further international efforts to assess and manage the risk of ASF in the Americas.

The ASF Forum

The ASF Forum will be a focused, two day event, to enhance collaboration on ASF in the Americas and to explore four key areas for action: preparedness planning, enhanced biosecurity, ensuring business continuity and coordinated risk communication. Sessions will include a mixture of panel and interactive discussions to obtain consensus on short, medium and long term strategies for regional prevention and preparedness activities.

Intended outcomes

To arrive at a shared vision for fostering collaboration between government and industry, and between countries, to take unified, concrete actions to mitigate the threat of ASF in the region.

The development of a collaborative framework for managing the threat of ASF and the establishment of governance mechanisms and partnerships for on-going coordination.

Target audience

Around 150 participants are expected to attend.

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