The Rosselkhoznadzor specialists visited Belgium on January 29 – 30, 2019 in order to exchange experience and evaluate the actions, taken by the state veterinary services to eradicate ASF outbreaks. The parties also discussed technical issues of veterinary information systems integration.
The representatives of Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the European Union as well as veterinary experts of the European Commission and Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FAVV-AFSCA) took part in the talks.
In the course of the meeting the strategy of the Belgian competent veterinary authorities to control ASF spread in Luxemburg province and set of special measures to contain the disease spread out of the infected zone were described to the Russian specialists. It was noted, that the Belgian veterinary service sticks to the strategy of complete depopulation of domestic pigs and wild boar within the infected zone (Zone II) and prevention zone (Zone I).
The current EU program to control antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was also discussed at the meeting. The specialists of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FAVV-AFSCA) gave a detailed description of antibiotic recording and control system, operating in Belgium since 2011. In the course of the talks FAVV veterinary information system and its module Sentinel-Med, aimed at collection and analysis of data about antibiotics for veterinary use, was described.
IT specialists of the FGBI “ARRIAH” subordinate to the Rosselkhoznadzor gave a short presentation about the state information system VetIS and its components, used for registration and control of veterinary drugs and additives (Irena, Galen). In the conclusion, the parties agreed that it was necessary to eliminate administrative and political barriers for communication and scientific cooperation between two countries in ASF and IT issues.
For reference: The first ASF outbreak in Belgium was reported in the military training area in Luxemburg province, Etalle municipality on September 9, 2018 with three wild boar carcasses found in the forest. The laboratory tests showed ASF virus in the pathological material. The further examination of the area revealed several more ASFV infected wild boar carcasses. In the light of the wild boar ecology and local geography aspects, it was decided to benefit from the experience of the Czech Republic in infection spread prevention, i.e. fencing of the infected zone, passive (Zone II) and active (Zone I) monitoring. Special teams of foresters and military men are involved into passive monitoring (search for dead animals). Active monitoring (shooting) is carried out by hunters, paid for every shot animal, subject to destruction after sampling. ASFV was recovered from 345 samples of pathological material in total as of January 17, 2019.