Application of the World Café method to discuss the efficiency of African swine fever control strategies in European wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations
In the current epidemic of African swine fever (ASF) in Europe, the maintenance and spread of the disease among wild boar populations remains the most important epidemiological challenge. Affected and at-risk countries have addressed this situation using a diversity of wild boar management methods with varying levels of success. The methods applied range from conventional animal disease intervention measures (zoning, stakeholder awareness campaigns, increased surveillance and biosecurity measures) to measures aimed at reducing wild boar population movements (fencing and baiting/feeding) or population numbers (intensive hunting). To assess the perceived efficiency and acceptance of such measures in the context of a focal introduction of ASF, the authors organised a participatory workshop inviting experts from the fields of wildlife management, wild boar ecology, sociology, epidemiology and animal disease management to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various control approaches. The discussions between professionals from different countries took place using the World Café method. This paper documents the World Café method as a tool for increasing the level of participation in multi-stakeholder group discussions, and describes the outputs of the workshop pertaining to the control measures. In summary, the World Café method was perceived as an efficient tool for quickly grasping comprehensive perspectives from the professionals involved in managing ASF and wild boar populations, while promoting engagement in multi-disciplinary discussions. The exercise achieved a good overview of the perceived efficiency and applicability of the different control methods and generated useful recommendations for ASF control in wild boar populations in Europe.