OIE warns 'no countries are safe' from African swine fever

Around a quarter of the world's pigs are expected to die from African swine fever
Around a quarter of the world's pigs are expected to die from African swine fever

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has warned that no countries are safe from the spread of African swine fever.

A quarter of the world’s pigs could die as a result of the virus, scientists have recently predicted.

Dr Monique Eloit, General Directorate of the OIE, said the world is 'facing a threat that is global'.

She told Reuters in an interview: “The risk exists for all countries, whether they are geographically close or geographically distant because there is a multitude of potential sources of contamination.”



She warned that the virus could be transmitted by a tourist ‘bringing back a ham or sausage sandwich from a contaminated country, throwing it away and the garbage being reused by farmers to feed their pigs’.

There are additional risks from trading live animals and food products across borders and from small breeders using restaurant or train station waste to feed their stock, Dr Eloit added.



ASF has so far been found in 50 countries, killing hundreds of million pigs, while reshaping global meat and feed markets, the report says.

Since it was first discovered in China in August 2018, it has spread rapidly to several countries in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Korea and the Philippines.

More countries are likely to be hit in the coming months.