On January 17, 2019 a traditional round table meeting was held with representatives of the competent services and business associations of Russia, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and France within the Rosselkhoznadzor delegation’s working program at the international agricultural exhibition Green Week - 2019 in Berlin. The Rosselkhoznadzor was represented by Head of the Service Sergey Dankvert.
This year the roundtable participants reviewed the situation on the spread of African swine fever (ASF) and a number of other dangerous animal diseases in Eurasia, discussed protective anti-epizootic measures taken in different EU countries and in Russia and evaluated the possibilities of trade in pig products under the current conditions.
The discussion was based on a review report by the head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Administration Artyom Daushev, who provided up-to-date information on ASF spread and demonstrated the approaches of the Russian supervisory service to the prevention and control of this dangerous animal disease.
Commenting on the report, Sergey Dankvert stressed that since the ASF has ceased to be a purely Russian problem, mutual understanding with experts from EU countries and other affected countries has improved markedly. There comes the realization that until the invention of the vaccine, which can stop the spread of ASF, we will have to put up with this common problem. Despite all the restrictions that the disease imposes on the pig industry, the production of pork in the Russian Federation over the past 10 years has increased 2.5 times, reaching 4.8 million tons. It is obvious that without developed information systems that allow tracing the movement of animals and products from the risk group and controlling the established parameters of regionalization and biosafety of individual establishments, it will be impossible to maintain a balance between trade interests and production safety objectives. It is important to overcome the lack of coordination between the authorities when it comes to the wild boar population control especially in environmental protection zones and nature reserves; it is necessary for different authorities and territorial administrations to work together for the purpose of timely disposal of food wastes and dead animals especially along highways used for uncontrolled transportation of goods and human migration. The epidemics spread forecast is not comforting. There is a risk of the disease occurrence in France, Germany, Austria, Finland, and Slovakia in 2019. In the East of the continent ASF, drastically invading China, is threatening Vietnam and other countries of the South-East Asia.
The representative of the foreign surveillance bodies and industry associations welcomed the initiative of the Russian business circles to exchange updated information and highlighted that such meetings contribute to strengthening trust and help to withstand the spread of the highly dangerous disease.
The participants paid their attention to the 30-year experience of Spain in containing ASF in the territory of Sardinia and reduction in ASF cases from 100 cases in 2015 to 5 in 2018. To achieve this they had to almost completely destroy the wild boar population and terminate backyard pig farming on the island. The Italian colleagues laid a stress on the threat of uncontrolled human migration and promised to share the results of their investigations with the Rosselkhoznadzor.
The specialists from Denmark highly assessed the analysis made by the Russian specialists and mentioned the value of objective information for arranging joint disease control. Denmark is working hard to protect its territory from the illegal entrance of animals and pig products (establishing border with Germany, reduction in the wild boar population to the minimum, additional disinfection of animal facilities including the empty ones, and vehicles). A common understanding on precautions and disinfection of military machinery and equipment returning from simulations in the ASF affected countries was reached with civil authorities as well as with the Ministry of Defense.
The representatives of France and the Netherlands, where due to the high risk of ASF introduction from Belgium enhanced biosecurity measures are taken and awareness campaign is being implemented, expressed their gratitude to the organizers of the round table discussions and their readiness to cooperate.
In conclusion the participants supported strengthening of scientific and technical interaction between the national research centers, agreed to share information, and to jointly seek ways to safer trade.