Commercial pig farms and backyard units in Romania have been confirmed with African swine fever over the past week.
Based on reports from national animal health agencies over the past week to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Romania continues to be the European country struggling most to contain African swine fever (ASF).
There have been 19 new outbreaks of the disease in domestic pigs, leading to the loss of more than 10,500 animals through mortality or culling at infected premises. These included two farms of 9,147 and 1,278 pigs in southern counties that border Bulgaria. The virus was also detected in a backyard herd in a county near to the border with Ukraine.
Romania’s veterinary authority also confirmed to the OIE in the last week that ASF has been detected in more of its wild boar. A total of 40 infected animals were found at 10 locations in southern and central counties.
ASF returns to western Moldova
Just two weeks ago, Moldova’s food safety agency reported to the OIE that the ASF had been resolved in the western district of Nisporeni. However, the disease has recently reappeared in the neighboring district of Hincesti, which also borders Romania. The virus was detected last week among a backyard herd after two of the animals died.
In the past week, the same agency has reported to the OIE that the ASF situation has been “resolved” in the south of the country. One outbreak of the disease was detected in a small backyard herd in the Gagauzia Autonomous Region during September. No cases have been detected in the area since that time.
ASF losses, costs mount in Bulgaria
Since July, a total of 106 ASF outbreaks have been confirmed in Bulgaria. While the previous outbreaks were in domestic pigs, most recent cases have been in wild boar, reports Sofia Globe.
Already by early October, 20% of the country’s pigs had been lost to the disease, according to the agriculture minister.
More ASF cases in wild boar in Hungary, Latvia and Russia
A series of ASF outbreaks at 72 locations and involving 84 wild boar have been reported to the OIE by the Hungarian agriculture ministry. Most cases were in the north and east of the country, but there were also five new ones in the forest area near to the capital, Budapest.
During the first week of this month, 12 wild boar tested positive for the ASF virus across Latvia, including some cases near to the border with Lithuania.
Russia’s agriculture ministry has informed the OIE about new cases of ASF in wild boar in Oryol oblast. Six animals at two locations in the Korsakovsky district have recently tested positive for the ASF virus. Oryol is in the Central federal district, where previous cases were reported during the summer.
Learning from ASF experience in Europe
Seeking to gain a greater understanding of ASF control, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, has made a visit to Sardinia. He discussed ASF issues Christian Solinas (the region’s president), Ennio Arba (mayor of Urzulei) and the pig breeders’ organization.
In January, the regional government set up a project to eradicate ASF from Sardinia by eliminating its feral pig population. This led to the capture and slaughter of 167 animals in the Urzulei area. Efforts were scheduled to continue until the last pigs had been captured from public land.
A recently published study into the future progression of ASF in Europe concluded that the spread of the disease in an easterly direction is “highly likely.”
Over the past week, the OIE has received no reports of confirmed ASF cases from Africa.
ASF continues to spread in Asia. If tests for the virus are confirmed, the disease will have emerged most recently in Indonesia, the 12th Asian state to be affected this year.
View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.