African Swine Fever

Why in News?

China is witnessing rise in pork prices because of the rampant spread of African Swine Fever (ASF). The country is the world’s largest pork (meat from a pig) producer.

About ASF

  • ASF is a highly contagious and fatal animal disease that infects domestic and wild pigs. It leads to an acute form of hemorrhagic fever. It was first detected in Africa in the 1920s.
  • The mortality is close to 100%, and since the fever has no cure, the only way to stop its spread is by culling the animals.
  • ASF is not a threat to human beings since it only spreads from animals to other animals.

Key Points

  • Historically, outbreaks have been reported in Africa and parts of Europe, South America, and the Caribbean.
  • However, more recently (since 2007), the disease has been reported in multiple countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, in both domestic and wild pigs.
  • ASF is a disease listed in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code and thus, reported to the OIE.

World Organisation for Animal Health

  • OIE is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.
  • In 2018, it had a total of 182 Member Countries. India is one of the member countries.
  • OIE develops normative documents relating to rules that Member Countries can use to protect themselves from the introduction of diseases and pathogens. One of them is the Terrestrial Animal Health Code.
  • OIE standards are recognised by the World Trade Organization as reference international sanitary rules.
  • It is headquartered in Paris, France.

Source: IE