The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) will support 30,000 producers in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to control and eradicate African swine fever (ASF). The initiative has been announced on August 17.
“We want to help with training and veterinary support for small producers in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, protecting their livelihoods. In addition, we want to strengthen these countries preparation against the disease”, explained Andrés González, FAO’s agent for Livestock, Animal Health and Biodiversity.
The resources will also allow a prevention plan to prepare Latin America and the Caribbean for possible ASF outbreaks in other countries. Those efforts comes together with FAO campaigns since the virus was first detected in the Americas in Dominican Republic in July 2021.
The measure has financial support of US$ 4.7 million provided by the Office of Humanitarian Assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Dominican Republic and Haiti are located some1,200 km from Florida, United States – the world’s largest exporter and second producer – and might be an open door for many other major producers such as Brazil, Canada, Argentina, Chile and so on.
FAO and the Caribbean Animal Health Network have also launched an online training against ASF for veterinary professionals and technicians involved in the diagnosis, investigation and response to the disease.
According to FAO´s website, the content combines a convenient, self-paced study with a unique opportunity to discuss and implement solutions with international and national experts.
FAO alerted Latin American and Caribbean countries In August 2021 to the need to take preventive measures due to the ASF outbreak amongst domestic pigs in the Dominican Republic and later in Haiti.
The outbreak was the first in the Americas since the 1980s. ASF does not pose any risk to human health, not through direct contact with infected animals, nor through consumption of any product of pig origin.
Since then, the disease is active on every continent in the world. In Africa, Europe, Asia and the Pacific it has already affected more than 50 countries, undermining their food security, livelihoods that depend on the pig value chain, and biodiversity as the disease affects wildlife.