An informal meeting of the members of the Working Party of the Heads of Veterinary Services of the European Union) was taking place in Prague on 28-30 September as part of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council. The main topic of the meeting of the highest veterinary authorities of the EU countries was the current issue of African swine fever (ASF).
Currently 14 European countries have reported the presence of ASF in domestic or wild pigs on their territory. The presence of the disease on national territory always causes considerable problems for pig farmers and downstream industries, leading to significant financial costs and economic losses.
Zbyněk Semerád, Central Director of the State Veterinary Administration, and Jiří Šír, Deputy Minister of the EU and Foreign Relations Section of the Ministry of Agriculture, spoke at the opening of the meeting on Czech Statehood Day (28 September) at the Vienna House Diplomat Hotel in Prague.
During their subsequent presentations, representatives of European countries where ASF is currently present or has recently emerged shared with their counterparts from other countries their experiences with the control and eradication of ASF and other key aspects of their strategy in relation to this dangerous disease. The Prague meeting was a follow-up to Tuesday's high-level ministerial meeting on the same disease.
A representative of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) presented its work on ASF risk assessment. European Commission representative Bernard Van Goethem updated the meeting on the epidemiological situation of ASF and shared his thoughts on the EU's strategic approach to this disease.
Spokesperson of the State Veterinary Administration