Research priorities to fill knowledge gaps in wild boar management measures that could improve the control of African swine fever in wild boar populations
The European Commission asked EFSA to provide study designs for the investigation of four research domains (RDs) according to major gaps in knowledge identified by EFSA in a report published in 2019: (RD 1) African swine fever (ASF) epidemiology in wild boar; (RD 2) ASF transmission by vectors; (RD 3) African swine fever virus (ASFV) survival in the environment, and (RD 4) the patterns of seasonality of ASF in wild boar and domestic pigs in the EU. In this Scientific Opinion, the second RD on ASF epidemiology in wild boar is addressed. Twenty‐nine research objectives were proposed by the working group and broader ASF expert networks and 23 of these research objectives met a prespecified inclusion criterion. Fourteen of these 23 research objectives met the predefined threshold for selection and so were prioritised based on the following set of criteria: (1) the impact on ASF management; (2) the feasibility or practicality to carry out the study; (3) the potential implementation of study results in practice; (4) a possible short time‐frame study (< 1 year); (5) the novelty of the study; and (6) if it was a priority for risk managers. Finally, after further elimination of three of the proposed research objectives due to overlapping scope of studies published during the development of this opinion, 11 research priorities were elaborated into short research proposals, considering the potential impact on ASF management and the period of one year for the research activities.