Swine fever, new commissioner ordinance. There is also an active cluster in Reggino


By John

Ordinance 2/2024 of the Extraordinary Commissioner for African swine fever containing the application measures of the «Extraordinary plan for the capture, killing and disposal of wild boars and updating of the strategic actions for the development of the eradication plans in the African Swine Fever restriction zones for the years 2023-2028». «The five-year wild boar containment plan assigns fairly stringent numerical objectives to the Regions – states Vincenzo Caputo, Extraordinary Commissioner for African Swine Fever -. At the moment we have a patchy situation, but the Regions are working to achieve all the objectives set. There are active clusters in Reggio Calabria, in Campania, in Rome and finally in the north of the country with a current spread of the virus in Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Liguria and Piedmont”. Caputo, General Director of the «Togo Rosati» Zooprophylactic Institute of Umbria and Marche in synergy with the Regions, the Network of Experimental Zooprophylactic Institutes and the Health Authorities, was keen to specify: «With the plan we have institutionalized and framed with precision the Territorial Operational Groups (GOT). These interdisciplinary and intersectoral groups formed, in various capacities and for their own skills, by personnel from the health, agriculture and environment departments, by provincial police agents and by the carabinieri, will operate in specific “pig districts”. Furthermore, over 15,000 bioregulators have been trained, figures coming from the hunting world who, following the achievement of specific training in biosecurity, will work alongside the 177 units of the armed forces currently carrying out the census through the use of military drones, logistical assistance, carcass research and, in certain cases, targeted killing.”

Furthermore, the Commissioner declared that the monitoring and control activity in the territory has highlighted how the level of containment performance at the zootechnical level is perfectly adequate, while that outside the livestock companies needs to be increased. This is precisely what the model proposed is aimed at through the integrated work of GOT, bioregulators and the military: «With this type of operation we will be more effective, with strategies to thin out the wild boar and bring it back, where necessary, exclusively to the areas suited to its presence ». According to the numbers of active and passive surveillance in Italy, around 60,000 animals have been subjected to restrictive measures, the number of infections stands at around 2,000 cases of wild boars, and 21 outbreaks have been recorded in domestic pigs. «We are keeping our guard up – says Caputo – we are vigorously campaigning the territory and putting in place all the necessary efforts to achieve first the containment and then the eradication of African swine fever, a disease which it is important to remember does not affect humans». «The ordinance provides for the possibility for producers and farmers to collaborate with operational groups for thinning, with the belief that the battle against the PSA virus can only be won if all stakeholders give their contribution.» «From the point of view of exports of pig products – concludes Caputo – the criticality remains towards the countries of North America, in particular the United States which has blocked the import of raw pork products under 400 days of maturation. To protect this important sector, some experimental research is underway with the aim of developing sanitization technologies for seasoned products and allowing exports while preventing the spread of the PSA virus.”