Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    African swine fever in wild boar
    The European Commission requested EFSA to compare the reliability of wild boar density estimates across the EU and to provide guidance to improve data collection methods. Currently, the only EU‐wide available data are hunting data. Their collection methods should be harmonised to be comparable and to improve predictive models for wild boar density. These models could be validated by more precise density data, collected at local level e.g. by camera trapping. Based on practical and theoretical considerations, it is currently not possible to establish wild boar density thresholds that do not allow sustaining African swine fever (ASF). There are many drivers determining if ASF can be sustained or not, including heterogeneous population structures and human‐mediated spread and there are still unknowns on the importance of different transmission modes in the epidemiology. Based on extensive literature reviews and observations from affected Member States, the efficacy of different wild boar population reduction and separation methods is evaluated. Different wild boar management strategies at different stages of the epidemic are suggested. Preventive measures to reduce and stabilise wild boar density, before ASF introduction, will be beneficial both in reducing the probability of exposure of the population to ASF and the efforts needed for potential emergency actions (i.e. less carcass removal) if an ASF incursion were to occur. Passive surveillance is the most effective and efficient method of surveillance for early detection of ASF in free areas. Following focal ASF introduction, the wild boar populations should be kept undisturbed for a short period (e.g. hunting ban on all species, leave crops unharvested to provide food and shelter within the affected area) and drastic reduction of the wild boar population may be performed only ahead of the ASF advance front, in the free populations. Following the decline in the epidemic, as demonstrated through passive surveillance, active population management should be reconsidered.
      222Scopus© Citations 69
  • Publication
    Risk assessment of African swine fever in the south‐eastern countries of Europe
    The European Commission requested EFSA to estimate the risk of spread of African swine fever (ASF) and to identify potential risk factors (indicators) for the spread of ASF, given introduction in the south‐eastern countries of Europe (region of concern, ROC), namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. Three EU Member States (MS) – Croatia, Greece and Slovenia – were included in the ROC due to their geographical location and ASF‐free status. Based on collected information on potential risk factors (indicators) for each country and the relevant EU regulations in force, the estimated probability of spread of ASF within the ROC within one year after introduction into the ROC was assessed to be very high (from 66% to 100%). This estimate was determined after considering the high number of indicators present in most of the countries in the ROC and the known effect that these indicators can have on ASF spread, especially those related to the structure of the domestic pig sector, the presence of wild boar and social factors. The presence of indicators varies between countries in the ROC. Each country is at risk of ASF spread following introduction; however, some countries may have a higher probability of ASF spread following introduction. In addition, the probability of ASF spread from the ROC to EU MSs outside the ROC within one year after introduction of ASF in the ROC was estimated to be very low to low (from 0% to 15%). This estimate was based on the comparison of the indicators present in the ROC and the already affected countries in south‐eastern Europe, such as Bulgaria and Romania, where there was no evidence of ASF spread to other EU MS within one year.
      120Scopus© Citations 25
  • Publication
    Risk of survival, establishment and spread of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) in the EU
    Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) is an emerging fungal pathogen of salamanders. Despite limited surveillance, Bsal was detected in kept salamanders populations in Belgium, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and in wild populations in some regions of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. According to niche modelling, at least part of the distribution range of every salamander species in Europe overlaps with the climate conditions predicted to be suitable for Bsal. Passive surveillance is considered the most suitable approach for detection of Bsal emergence in wild populations. Demonstration of Bsal absence is considered feasible only in closed populations of kept susceptible species. In the wild, Bsal can spread by both active (e.g. salamanders, anurans) and passive (e.g. birds, water) carriers; it is most likely maintained/spread in infected areas by contacts of salamanders or by interactions with anurans, whereas human activities most likely cause Bsal entry into new areas and populations. In kept amphibians, Bsal contamination via live silent carriers (wild birds and anurans) is considered extremely unlikely. The risk‐mitigation measures that were considered the most feasible and effective: (i) for ensuring safer international or intra‐EU trade of live salamanders, are: ban or restrictions on salamander imports, hygiene procedures and good practice manuals; (ii) for protecting kept salamanders from Bsal, are: identification and treatment of positive collections; (iii) for on‐site protection of wild salamanders, are: preventing translocation of wild amphibians and release/return to the wild of kept/temporarily housed wild salamanders, and setting up contact points/emergency teams for passive surveillance. Combining several risk‐mitigation measures improve the overall effectiveness. It is recommended to: introduce a harmonised protocol for Bsal detection throughout the EU; improve data acquisition on salamander abundance and distribution; enhance passive surveillance activities; increase public and professionals’ awareness; condition any movement of captive salamanders on Bsal known health status.
      216Scopus© Citations 13