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ASF continues to rage through European wild boar

here have been a further 27 new African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in Romanian backyard herds of domestic pigs.

wild-boar
tinypretorius | Foter

While African swine fever (ASF) continues to devastate the wild boar populations of central and eastern Europe, the only country to report new outbreaks in domestic pigs over the past week has been Romania.

There have been a further 27 new African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in Romanian backyard herds of domestic pigs. These were reported over the past week to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) by the national veterinary authority. The majority of the latest cases were in the south of the country, but herds were also affected in western and northeastern counties.

Affected herds ranged in size up to 89 pigs. Of the 231 animals affected by these latest outbreaks, 129 died. The rest have been destroyed to prevent further spread of the infection.

Up to March 8, there have been 187 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 27 since the previous week.

From this source, the worst affected has been Romania — with 170 outbreaks, an increase of 24 from the week before. There have been 14 outbreaks in Bulgaria so far, and cases have also occurred in Ukraine (2) and Greece (1). EC figures do not include Russia.

Poland: Worst affected European state with wild boar cases

Based on official reports sent by national veterinary agencies to the OIE, Hungary has confirmed the highest number of cases in wild boar over the past week. Of the 212 new cases — identified between February 29 and March 11 — 157 were detected as a cluster in the northeastern region of Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen. In other areas of Hungary where previous cases had been reported, a further three to 23 animals tested positive for the ASF virus over this period.

Also reporting new ASF cases in wild boar to the OIE in the past week were Romania (122 animals), Latvia and Slovakia (each with 16), and Moldova (13). In Belgium, the animal health authority reports that the virus was detected in the bones of another long-dead wild boar in the southern province of Luxembourg.

Up to March 8, the EC had recorded 2,746 confirmed ASF outbreaks among Europe’s wild boar population so far this year. This represents an increase of 401 from the previous week’s total.

At 1,099 and 887, respectively, Poland and Hungary have reported the highest number of cases over this period. Other countries reporting significant numbers of ASF-infected wild boar are Bulgaria (207), Latvia (67) and Lithuania (58). Italy, Serbia, Slovakia, Estonia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belgium have also confirmed ASF in wild boar this year, but in fewer than 35 animals.

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

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