THE IMPORTANCE OF AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS TO SLOW DOWN THE EXPANSION OF THE ASF

Already in February 2018 during the Council of Agriculture Ministers of the European Union, Member State experts supported a Commission proposal to strengthen communication on the risks linked to ASF, as a crucial element to prevent the spread of the disease.

 

Early 2019, the OIE launched a campaign to raise awareness of the ASF virus. Under the slogan “ASF kills pigs” the organisation published a series of posters and videos that have now been translated into more than ten different languages, explaining in simple terms how to act to prevent possible outbreaks of the disease.

Campaigns like this can effectively help to educate and raise awareness among the different actors (farmers, hunters, travellers, airport authorities…) and prevent the spread of the ASF virus. According to the OIE, since ASF is not perceived as a direct threat to human health, the risk perception among some of the key actors remains low. Communication efforts should highlight the impact of the disease on animal health and welfare, as well as on different levels of society, such as on farmers’ livelihoods, food security, national economies and international trade.

 

Most recently the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) wanted raise awareness of African Swine Fever and help stop its spread in South East Europe. The European authority highlighted the devastating effects of ASF, and like the OIE, puts the focus on detection, prevention and information as key elements in the fight against the spread of ASF. The campaign features different infographics, fact sheets, and publications prepared for sharing on Social Networks.

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Activities, Publications