How Spain Got Rid of African Swine Fever, Part 1: History

By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

African Swine Fever is a viral disease that spreads rapidly among pigs. Reports say that ASF originated from China and is slowly making its way inside the United States borders. Fortunately, the disease is not contagious nor harmful to humans.

However, ASF is still a threat to human living because it endangers the supply of pork in the market.

While China and US are looking for solution to solve their swine problem, another country has already dealt with the disease and managed to eradicate it from within its premises.

That country is Spain. It was in the 1960s when the disease first entered in the European country. There were still no controls in swine production back then and the country’s veterinary services were still developing at the time.

It wasn’t until 1990 when the real serious effort to get rid of the disease came around. The European Union started to support swine depopulation to control the spread of the virus.

With their increased funding, Spain implemented stricter efforts in containing the diseases, improving veterinary health infrastructures, improve animal holding facilities, eliminate outbreaks, and depopulate infected herds. So by 1995, Spain officially became clear of ASF.

This shows that there is still hope for countries currently affected by ASF. The next article will focus on what these countries need to have in order for the eradication to work without a hitch.

Also discussed will be what other countries can learn from Spain not just in the scientific and political efforts, but the different valuable roles that each citizen played as well.  

Read Part 2 here.

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Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Patricia Taculao, or Patty as she likes to be called, is a content producer for Manila Bulletin Digital Lifestyle. She graduated from University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She loves to spend her free time, reading, painting, and watching old movies.

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