Outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) have been reported among domestic pigs in new regions of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in Asia, as well as Bulgaria, while new cases have been confirmed in China, Latvia and Ukraine.
Based on official reports to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), new ASF outbreaks have been confirmed over the past week in three Asian states — Cambodia, China and Vietnam, and there have been new cases in Laos, according to local media.
Cambodia’s total number of outbreaks has risen to four, with almost 1,000 pigs lost to the disease directly through mortality or culling.
The three latest outbreaks involved 357 animals belonging to village herds in three provinces — Kampong Cham, Svay Rieng and Takeo. In the first of these outbreaks, the disease was detected in the neighboring province of Thboung Khmum, which — like Svay Rieng and Takeo — borders Vietnam, where the disease has caused widespread and significant losses already this year.
Vietnam’s latest outbreak, as reported by the agriculture ministry to the OIE, was in the Southeast region, in the province of Tay Ninh, which shares a border with Thboung Khmum in Cambodia. Eleven pigs in a village herd have been destroyed as a result of the outbreak, which was the first to be reported in this province.
Two new ASF outbreaks have been confirmed by China’s agriculture ministry to the OIE. These were in the southern province of Guangxi, in the prefectures of Yulin and Guigang, where previous cases have been detected. A total of 10 pigs died from the disease, and a further 881 have been culled. They bring the total number of outbreaks in Guangxi since February to five. The province also borders Vietnam.
Restrictions imposed after previous ASF outbreaks have recently been lifted in parts of Ningxia Hia Autonomous Region and Yunnan province, according to China’s agriculture ministry.
ASF spreads to capital city of Laos
Eleven new outbreaks of ASF have occurred in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, according to Xinhua. About 100 pigs have died there, bringing the total losses nationwide so far to 2,500.
The southeast Asian country reported its first ever ASF outbreaks to the OIE in early June. All these early cases were in the province of Salavan, about 670 kilometers from Vientiane.
Although ASF poses no threat to human health, officials have been checking pork in the capital since the first outbreak, and the agriculture ministry has called on the authorities in Salavan and other provinces to step up their monitoring for the disease.
Latvia, Ukraine confirm new ASF outbreaks in domestic pigs
Ukraine’s food safety service has reported to the OIE one new outbreak of ASF, affecting a farm in Kherson in the south of the country. Presence of the virus was confirmed in 58 animals of the herd of 1,085, and stamping out was underway. This was the second outbreak in the oblast, about two weeks after a small backyard herd was affected, and more than six months after a series of cases among Kherson’s wild boar population.
Latest outbreak in Latvia was at a small farm in the municipality of Durbe in the west of the country. Ten of the 52 pigs showed signs of the disease, including three mortalities. The remaining animals were culled.
ASF outbreaks in Bulgaria prompt government action
Over the past week, the Bulgarian agriculture ministry has reported a further outbreak of ASF to the OIE. The latest outbreak — a second this month in the northern province of Pleven, which borders Romania — was in a backyard herd of just two animals in Novachene.
The disease appears to be spreading among wild and domestic pigs, and it poses a threat to these populations, according to Georgi Chobanov, director of animal health and welfare and feed control, reported Novinite in the past week.
He urged local people not to keep their own pigs, or to ensure they buy from licensed sources, and register their animals. If their pigs have to be culled due to ASF, the owners will only receive compensation if they have the correct documentation.
Since the last official report to the OIE, the same source reports that a further six outbreaks have been confirmed, apparently in domestic pigs in different villages in the province of Pleven. Disinfection points have been set up at each location.
The Bulgarian government took action by pledging BGN3.7 million (US$2.1 million) to help fight ASF, according to Novinite.
Canada, European Union agree over zoning in case of ASF outbreaks
Earlier this month, the respective animal health agencies of Canada and the European Union (EU) agreed to an ASF zoning arrangement to allow for safe trade of pig and pork products from disease-free zones in the event of an ASF outbreak.
Further evidence of the global threat of ASF to global pig production emerged this week from the agriculture department in Northern Ireland, which reported finding traces of the ASF virus DNA among the 300 kilograms of illegal meat and dairy products it had seized from the luggage of incoming passengers during the month of June alone.
More ASF cases in European wild boar
Veterinary agencies of three European states have reported ASF cases in wild boar to the OIE over the past week.
Poland reported 58 animals affected in 34 outbreaks over the period April 7-17 this year. These occurred in areas previously reporting cases, namely Masovia, Warmia-Masuria, Lublin and Podaskie. There were 12 outbreaks in Latvia during the first week of July, and seven in northern Hungary.
View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.