How the Spanish Got Rid of African Swine Fever, Part 2

By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Featured photo from Krysten Brown via Unsplash

The first part of this series discussed what African Swine Fever actually is.

Recently, there have been numerous reports about the spread of African Swine Fever in China and the possibility of it infiltrating the United States. Although it doesn’t pose as any threat to human health, the disease has serious consequences on pork supply and the swine industry.

However, there is still hope because a European country has already overcome the problem when they had it in the 1960s.

Spain carried out extensive efforts in 1990 to eradicate the virus within the country’s premises. By 1995, the ASF was no longer a problem for the Spaniards.

Aside from the technology and funding they received from the UN, here are other things that country’s affected by ASF can learn from Spain:

  1. Prepare an appropriate compensation program: There has to be a proper price of incentive–not too high and not too low. A good compensation program should be solid enough but based on the actual pork and swine at the time.
  2. A collaboration within the community: Another important thing that the Spanish did in fighting the virus is that they built a stable relationship between the government, private industries, and different communities for a more collaborative effort.
  3. Back-up with solid science – Spain had two important tools at their disposal in their process of ridding the country from African Swine Fever–a good vaccine and a huge contribution in advancing diagnostics.

With the digital age upon us, there might be more discoveries that could help decrease, and ultimately eradicate, traces of African Swine Fever globally. Still, it doesn’t hurt to consider the steps taken by Spain in their journey against the virus.

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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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