A ministerial conference, organised by the European Commission, on the “Eradication of African swine fever (ASF) in the EU and the long-term management of wild boar populations” took place in Brussels on 19 December. Commissioners Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, and Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, welcomed ministers and representatives from EU and national institutions, civil society organizations and associations to discuss and reflect upon the control and eradication of ASF. The meeting focussed on the preparedness on ASF and notably on the long-term management of the wild boar population. Within this context, the European Food Safety Authority presented the effects of different wild board control options and the latest scientific developments on the disease.
At the end of the conference, European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis commented that the control and eradication of African swine fever is a high priority for the EU and that in several regions of Europe, the wild boar population has developed in uncontrolled manner. This plays an important role in the spread and persistence of the disease. Hunting practices are relevant to the epidemiological evolution of the disease. Their effect on the wild boar populations must be considered in any strategic approach, "we cannot ensure preparedness on ASF without considering the long-term management of wild boar in areas that are not yet affected by the disease."
All Member States should invest efforts to ensure better coordination and cooperation, as soon as possible on ASF. This includes awareness raising and close coordination between agricultural and environmental stakeholders, for example, veterinary services, farmers, forestry management bodies, hunters.
A long-term management strategy of wild boar populations must be tailored to the particular situation of individual Member States and be compatible with EU environmental legislation, including nature protection requirements.
Its impact and effectiveness needs to be properly assessed before it is implemented.
A workshop for hunters is being organised by the Commission and the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) in Dortmund on 30 January 2019 during a major meeting of European hunters. This will be an opportunity to follow-up from today and increase hunters’ involvement in tackling ASF.
Wednesday December 2018/ EC/ European Union.