About the ASF-STOP COST action
African swine fever (ASF) is a viral haemorrhagic fever of domestic pigs and wild boar. The disease causes massive loss of animals due to mortality and the essential eradication control policies which give rise to animal welfare problems as well as further economic loss from trade restrictions. There are no vaccines for ASF. ASF has been present in Russia and neighboring countries since 2007 and recently the disease has entered the EU.
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The Impact of ASF:
When introduced into new areas ASF can be devastating, rapidly infecting the immunologically naïve pigs and causing outbreaks of high mortality
ASF is devastating for the pig industry causing massive loss of animals from infection associated mortality, from culling, with associated animal welfare problems, as well as further economic loss resulting from trade restrictions.
ASF was re-introduced into continental Europe through an incursion in Georgia in April 2007. ASF entered the EU in 2014 with the first cases in Lithuania followed by cases in Poland, Latvia and Estonia. The first detection in all of these Member States (MS) was in wild boar found dead.
There are no vaccines currently available and ASF continues to advance across Europe.
Countries and participants:
This Action aims to bring together the leading European teams in these fields to improve the knowledge, diagnosis, surveillance and management of ASF. The Action by supporting the reduction of overlap and identification of knowledge gaps will facilitate a shared European vision and innovative approaches to an ASF-free domestic pig sector and wild boar population in Europe.
More specifically, it aims to:
1. Better manage and control wild boar populations given their importance in ASF spread and maintenance
2. Develop methods of surveillance to increase the early detection of ASF incursion into new areas
3. Understand the epidemiology of ASF in the unique European context; to determine the epidemiological role of wild boar, ticks vectors of the virus, and the environment
4. Develop and improve management tools; such as an ASF vaccine and novel diagnostics, determine how to involve stakeholders and the general public in preventing ASF spread and determine how policy and legislation can contribute to prevention, control and eradication of ASF.
The structure of the ASF-Stop Action:
The ASF-Stop management committee:
The Management Committee (MC) of COST Actions consists of up to two members from each of the Participating COST Countries/ COST Cooperating members. The MC members and MC substitutes are nominated by the COST National Coordinator (CNC) of the participating country. The Management Committee of ASF-STOP is formed by 53 representatives of the 28 participating countries, it has also 29 substitute MC members, and observers (with no voting rights), 3 from Near Neighbor Countries (Russia, Albania and Ukraine), one from the European Commission and one from the European Food Safety Authority.
The Core Group
The Core group of ASF-STOP is a subgroup of the MC. Its role is to collect information and prepare proposals to facilitate decision-making by the MC. The Core group may also make minor decisions with mandate from the MC.
The Core group of ASF-STOP is formed by the Cost Action Chair, Dolores Gavier-Widén, Vice-Chair Francisco Ruiz-Fons, WG1 Leader María Montoya and Vice-Leader Marie-Frédérique Le Potier, WG2 Leader Ferran Jori and Vice-Leader Paulius Busauskas, WG3 Leader Silvia Bellini and Vice-Leader Marco Tamba, WG4 Leader Karl Ståhl and Vice-Leader Fernando Boinas, WG5 Leader Laura Iacolina, STSM Coordinator Carlos G. das Neves and Vice-Coordinator Willie Loeffe, ITC grant coordinator Karoly Erdelyi, and Training School coordinator Arvo Viltrop and vice-coordinator Sofie Rossi.