17th meeting of the Standing Group of Experts on African Swine Fever in Europe


Due to the sanitary situation with COVID-19, the seventeenth meeting of the standing group of experts on African Swine Fever (SGE ASF17), initially planned in Hungary, took place as a teleconference on the 4th of June 2021.

Fourteen SGE Member Countries from the European Region participated, as well as the representatives of GF-TAD from the Americas and Asia, with a total of over 70 participants in the meeting.

The participating Member Countries of the SGE on ASF for Europe briefly presented their national epidemiological situation regarding ASF, focusing on the changes since the last online meeting in November 2020 and (when relevant) the impact of the COVID 19 situation on their ASF surveillance. The Secretariat took the opportunity to present participants with an overview of ASF around the world. The OIE, the European Commission and FAO respectively completed the picture with the Americas, Asian, European, and the Balkans epidemiological situations and with focus on the activities being carried out on ASF.

The European Food Safety Authority and the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (Italy) presented possible exit strategies and the practical issues associated with these strategies.


The SGE ASF17 developed a set of recommendations. Amongst these, it was highlighted that:

• Based on science and OIE Standards, Recommendations published by the SGE since 2014 should be considered; helping all countries reach the objectives of the GF-TADs ASF initiative. These include new OIE Compartmentalisation Guidelines.

• Exit strategies for ASF in wild boar populations should be based on ASF status determination, implying appropriate surveillance programs.

• Two types of strategies have been used with apparent success, either quasi extinction of the host or progressive decrease in incidence; surveillance is critical to demonstrating the resulting freedom of ASF and can be constructed in two steps.

• Passive surveillance is key in evaluating the performance of exit strategies.

The SGE ASF 18 should be held virtually, in November 2021. The date and the modalities of the meeting will be decided depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was proposed that it will focus on ‘Challenges, the role and management of backyards and outdoor farming in the framework of ASF prevention, control and eradication’.