EC Launches Project to Target Research on African Swine Fever

1 December 2012, at 1:40pm

EU - A European Commission consortium has officially launched a three-year project for targeted research on African Swine Fever (ASF), known as ASFORCE.

ASFORCE is a European consortium-funded under the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for 'Targeted Research Effort on African Swine Fever', with 18 partners, reports FAO.

The ASFORCE Kick-off Meeting took place in Lisbon, Portugal in October 2012.

Its objectives were:

  • general discussion of the project
  • finalisation of a work plan and collaboration procedures for partners, and
  • agreement on the implementation of necessary tasks – the “who, when, where and how?”

Following the spread of ASF throughout Africa, the Caucasus and the Russian Federation, Europe is at high risk of disease introduction via legal or illegal movements of animals and animal products, particularly through its eastern borders. Research efforts across Europe should, therefore, continue to provide the science for preparedness in this evolving situation.

The ASFORCE project will last for 36 months and its work plan covers five major themes, corresponding to its objectives, which are divided into 19 work packages of tasks.

The five themes are:

  • project coordination and management
  • ASF prevention, control and eradication models
  • pig–wild boar–Argasidae interactions relevant to ASF epidemiology
  • development of tools for protecting against ASF (vaccines and improved diagnostic tests), and
  • training and knowledge transfer.

FAO EMPRES-Animal Health participates in themes 2, 3 and 5, mainly in charge of the implementation of field activities in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.