As African swine fever threatens to spread into southeast Europe, a campaign has been launched to warn about the threat.
An information campaign has been launched by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to raise awareness of the threat presented by the African swine fever (ASF) virus.
In 2019, EFSA identified nine countries in Europe that were at the greatest risk of ASF because of their proximity to areas where the virus was known to be present. An expert panel put the probability of the states — Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia — becoming infected with ASF at some time during 2020 at 66-100%.
To reduce this risk, EFSA’s campaign will raise ASF awareness and understanding in groups and individuals who come into contact with pigs or wild boar. Farmers and hunters will be the main targets of this information. However, the agency will work with many other interested organizations. These include veterinary, hunting and farming associations, and local governments. Also involved will be bodies dealing with border issues such as police, customs officials and tourist companies.
According to EFSA, its ultimate aim is to cooperate with the European Commission to eradicate ASF from Europe.
Poland, Romania, Russia record ASF in domestic pigs
Over the past week, Poland’s chief veterinary office has confirmed the presence of the ASF virus at eight new locations. While seven of the latest outbreaks were among herds of no more than 48 animals, one farm was also affected. Located in the western province of Lubusz, this premises had almost 600 pigs, and was in a community that borders Germany.
Since the first Polish ASF outbreak in March, the number of confirmed outbreaks has reached 79, including 11 premises with more than 200 pigs. Seven of the country’s provinces have been affected so far. The total number of animals involved in the outbreaks is just under 46,600.
Over the past week, Romania has recorded 42 new ASF outbreaks among domestic pigs, directly affecting 5,143 animals.
Among the latest outbreaks was one at a farm where 23 out of the 4,667 pigs died, according to the official report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Romania’s veterinary agency confirmed that a dead pig was found at one location, while the other 40 outbreaks were in backyard herds of up to 70 animals.
Two new outbreaks have been recorded by Russia’s agriculture ministry. These involved a total of 26 pigs in two backyard herds in Samara oblast, which is in the Volga federal district.
New ASF cases in wild boar in central, eastern Europe
Over the past week, four European states have reported new cases of ASF in wild boar to the OIE.
There have been 28 confirmed new infections in Hungary, 19 in southwestern Russia, 10 in Romania and four in Latvia.
View our continuing coverage of the global African swine fever situation.