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Romania reports 50 new ASF outbreaks

Up to January 20, there have been 62 confirmed outbreaks of ASF among domestic pigs in Europe since the start of 2020, according to the European Commission.

Group Of Pig Eating Food In Traditional Piglet Farm
themorningglory | Bigstock.com

The only European state officially reporting outbreaks of African swine fever in domestic pigs over the past week was Romania.

Starting between the New Year and January 22, all the latest outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in Romania’s domestic pigs were among backyard herds. One or more animals died in each of the herds, according to the official report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). A total of 310 pigs were lost to the disease through mortality or culling as a result of these outbreaks, Romania’s animal health agency reports.

Up to January 20, there have been 62 confirmed outbreaks of ASF among domestic pigs in Europe since the start of 2020, according to the European Commission (EC). The total has risen by 21 since the previous week. From this source, worst affected has been Romania (56 outbreaks). Bulgaria has reported five outbreaks, and there is a new case in Ukraine.

ASF returns to northern Ukraine

Ukraine’s veterinary service has reported to the OIE the return of ASF to two northern oblasts where the virus was last detected more than one year ago.

One wild boar in the northern oblast of Chernihiv has tested positive for the virus, as has a pig carcass found dumped in Rivne. Both of these oblasts border Belarus and/or Russia.

Just one week ago, the animal health agency reported to the OIE that the ASF situation had been “resolved” in the oblasts of Zaporizhia and Zhitomir.

New ASF cases in European wild boar

Veterinary authorities of eight European countries have reported to the OIE new cases of ASF in their respective wild boar populations over the past week.

The most cases reported to the OIE over this period — 375 — were reported by Hungary’s agriculture ministry. Confirmed between December 23 and January 17, the animals were found across several regions of the country, particularly in one northern district that borders Slovakia.

As well as Hungary and Ukraine, other countries officially reporting ASF in wild boar over the past week were Romania (187 animals), Poland (88), Latvia (15), Russia (10), and Bulgaria and Serbia (each with 7). All the Polish cases were detected in eastern provinces after outbreaks starting between November 20 and December 12 last year.

In addition to these cases in eastern Poland, ASF has also been detected in a wild boar in the west of the country, as near as 12 kilometers from the border with the German state of Saxony. Polish authorities informed the German federal agriculture ministry, BMEL, that several carcasses of wild boar found in the area had tested positive for the virus. Discussions are ongoing between Polish and German authorities on possible additional disease prevention measures.

This year, there have been 543 confirmed outbreaks of ASF among European wild boar up to January 20, according to the EC. This represents an increase of 201 over a period of one week.

Poland has reported the most outbreaks (161) to the EC, followed by Hungary (146), Romania (86), Bulgaria (56), and Lithuania and Latvia (each with 30). Belgium, Estonia, Italy, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine have each reported 12 cases or fewer so far this year. EC figures do not include cases in Russia.

ASF-infected pork seized

Last week, more than 9 metric tons of Chinese pig meat products were seized in Italy. Since the ASF outbreaks began in China in 2018, this trade has been banned by the Italian health ministry, according to a Reuters report. Hidden among vegetable products, the illegally imported pork has been destroyed.

In the Philippines, ASF virus has also been detected in pork dumplings imported from China in a container through a port in Manila. On suspicion of being mislabeled, the products were seized in December, reports CNN Philippines. Recent tests have revealed that ASF had contaminated pork dumplings.

ASF situation in other regions

There have been no recent official new reports of ASF outbreaks in Africa. In Asia, further cases are suspected or have been reported in domestic pigs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos and East Timor. In South Korea and Russia’s Far East, the virus has been detected in more wild boar.

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

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