The European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE), and the European Commission organised a high-level conference on “Preparing European Hunters to Eradicate African Swine Fever” at the “Jagd und Hund” exhibition in Dortmund, Germany.
The conference was attended by experts from the hunting community, scientists, the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), national authorities as well as key stakeholders from EU farming and pig meat sectors.
All stakeholders attending the conference expressed their deep concern about the spread of African swine fever in Europe. Currently, there is no known treatment or vaccination for ASF despite a substantial amount of research.
In front of a large audience, FACE President Mr. Torbjörn Larsson, opened the conference by stating: “Hunters are the eyes and ears of wildlife and have a key role to play in eradicating ASF but we need to be properly equipped to deal with the disease in the most effective way. We have a lot of experience to offer and authorities and other decision-makers should ensure that we are a key part of the debate at every level”.
The European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Mr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, underlined that it is crucial that every single hunter is aware and pays attention to how easily the disease can spread. He concluded that: “Hunters are uniquely placed to make the difference and determine the outcome of these battles for better or worse as they may contribute to increasing or reducing the spread of the disease: your role is crucial in this battle”.
Other key speakers included the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority, World Organisation for Animal Health, experts from the hunting community and the farming sector. All shared their evidence and presented their experiences on best practises in eradiating ASF. Recommendations are currently being finalised which will be promoted throughout Europe.
Wednesday January 30, 2019/ FACE/ European Union.