Another sharp rise in ASF outbreaks among Polish pigs

Another sharp rise in ASF outbreaks among Polish pigs

Photo by Andrea Gantz

A further 21 outbreaks of African swine fever have been confirmed on farms in Poland over the past week, including one in the west of the country.

Since 2016, ASF has been detected in 16 European states, according to the latest review of the global situation from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Based on official reports received, the number of domestic pigs animals lost to the disease on the continent so far has reached more than 1.383 million. Furthermore, there have also been around 29,500 cases in the wild boar population, mainly in central and eastern European states.

Together with outbreaks in Asia and Africa, the total number of pigs lost to ASF worldwide over the period now stands at more than 8.2 million animals. ASF virus has been detected in 60 countries worldwide.

This month marks the second anniversary of the first cases of ASF in China. OIE describes as the global pattern of distribution of ASF since the first outbreak as a “serious deterioration,” due to the spread mainly in Europe and Asia.

In recent weeks, OIE and the FAO jointly described ASF as a major crisis for the global pork industry, and called for a called for a new international cooperation to tackle the disease.

Poland reports 21 more ASF outbreaks on farms

The number of ASF outbreaks among Polish domestic pigs so far this year has risen to 38, according to the nation’s chief veterinary office. This is an increase of 21 over just one week.

Another significant development is a first outbreak in domestic pigs in the province of Lubusz. Located in the west of Poland, this province borders Germany, although the outbreak is not in the immediate vicinity of German territory. The remaining outbreaks were in provinces further east. With the majority in Lublin, other cases were confirmed in the provinces of Podkarpackie, Mazovia and Warmia-Masuria.

Involved in these latest outbreaks was a total of 3,680 pigs, mainly in groups of no more than 30. However, three of the affected premises — all in Lublin province — were commercial units. Two reared weaners (450 and 1,960 animals), and a third had 1,024 pigs including 79 sows.

Ukraine reports spread of ASF in 3 regions

Over the past week, Ukraine’s animal health agency has reported to the OIE the return of ASF in two regions, and a new outbreak in another.

In the central-eastern oblast Dnipropetrovsk, 12 pig carcasses were reported dumped outside a village last week. All were found to be infected with the ASF virus, leading to the destruction of all the carcasses. The area was disinfected. In this oblast, ASF was last detected in September 2019.

After a seven-month absence, ASF was also confirmed again this week in Poltava oblast. Tests revealed that the virus was present in a backyard herd of 41 pigs, one of which died.

Third region of Ukraine to report ASF case within one week was Sumy. Both pigs belonging to a backyard herd died. The presence of the virus was later confirmed. This was a second ASF outbreak in the oblast since June 2019. In late May, the virus was detected at a farm in the region.

Located in northern Ukraine and bordering Russia, Sumy oblast also shares a border with Poltava.

New outbreaks in Bulgaria, Romania

ASF has been confirmed at a farm in eastern Bulgaria, according to the country’s agriculture ministry. Of the 212 native East Balkan pigs on the farm, 15 animals died, and the rest have been destroyed.

According to official reports to the OIE, the outbreak was the first in the country since April. At that time, the virus was detected at a farm in the neighboring region of Sumen.

Over the past week, Romania’s veterinary agency has recorded a further 24 ASF outbreaks in domestic pigs to the OIE. All involved backyards herds in groups of up to 43. Of the total of 243 animals, 54 died and the rest have been destroyed.

Overview of the ASF situation in Europe’s domestic pigs

Up to August 3, there have been 472 outbreaks of ASF among domestic pigs in Europe since the start of 2020, according to the Animal Disease Notification System of the European Commission (EC).

The total has risen by 45 since the previous week.

From this source, worst affected has been Romania (401 outbreaks). Poland is now in second place with 25 outbreaks, overtaking Bulgaria with 17. Other countries reporting outbreaks in domestic pigs to the EC since the start of July are Serbia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia.

4 European states register new cases among wild boar

EC has recorded 7,722 confirmed outbreaks of ASF in wild boar for the year to August 3. This represents an increase of 119 from the previous week.

According to this source, Hungary had the most outbreaks — 3,238 — which is a jump of 56 from the week before. Other states to have confirmed ASF outbreaks to the EC so far this year are Poland (2,915), Romania (590), Bulgaria (370), Latvia (177), Lithuania (146) and Slovakia (138). Also reporting new recent cases is Estonia, whose total now stands at 38.

Five other European states — Belgium, Italy, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine — registered ASF in wild boar this year, but there have been no new cases in recent months.

Over the past week, veterinary agencies of four European countries have reported ASF in wild boar to the OIE. At 62, Hungary has confirmed the most new cases. In addition, there have been 18 in western Russia, 12 in Romania and eight in Latvia.

View our continuing coverage of the global African swine fever situation.