Poland confirms ASF outbreaks on 2 farms

Over the past month, African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks have been confirmed at two farms in western Poland — the first cases in domestic pigs in this region this year.

Photo by Bruno Raffa

Of the European countries, only Poland has reported new cases of African swine fever in domestic pigs on commercial farms.

Over the past month, African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks have been confirmed at two farms in western Poland. These are the first cases in domestic pigs in this Polish region so far this year.

First of these outbreaks began at a farm in the province of Lubusz in mid-March, according to the Polish agriculture ministry. In an official report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), it reports that the presence of the virus was confirmed after 135 of the pigs died. In early April, another apparently unrelated outbreak occurred. This was among a herd of just over 10,000 pigs in the neighboring province of Greater Poland (Wielkopolskie). At this location, 165 animals died. Both premises have been depopulated, and the animals destroyed.

There have been other cases of ASF in western Poland this year, but they affected wild boar, not domestic pigs.

ASF cases in 3 Romanian backyard herds

According to the national veterinary authority, ASF has affected a total of 68 domestic pigs at three locations. All appear to be unrelated, located as they were in different districts in the east and south of the country.

Starting between April 8 and 11, the outbreaks affected herds ranging from one to 42 animals, according to the OIE report. Only one of these registered mortalities. All the animals were culled to reduce the further spread of infection.

General ASF situation in European domestic pigs

So far this year, 233 outbreaks of ASF have been confirmed in domestic pigs in Europe, according to the April 20 update from the European Commission (EC). This total has risen by just five over a period of seven days.

Based on information from this source, worst affected has been Romania — with 207 outbreaks, which accounted for four of the new cases from the previous week.

Lithuania has reported its first outbreak in domestic pigs of 2020. For the other listed countries, the totals are unchanged from last week: Bulgaria (16), Ukraine (5), Poland (2), and Greece and Moldova, each with one registered one outbreak since the start of the year.

ASF outbreaks in wild boar reach 4,750

Up to April 19, the EC had recorded 4,750 confirmed ASF outbreaks among Europe’s wild boar population so far this year. This represents an increase of 274 from the previous week’s total.

At 2,043 and 1,719, respectively, Poland and Hungary have reported the highest number of cases since the start of 2020. The Hungarian total has risen by 183 from the previous week, and Poland’s by 67.

Other countries that have reported significant numbers of ASF-infected wild boar to the EC so far this year are Romania (418 cases), Bulgaria (207), Latvia (93), Lithuania (79) and Slovakia (68). Italy, Serbia, Estonia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belgium have also confirmed ASF in wild boar this year, but in no more than 40 animals.

Over the past week, the country reporting the highest number of ASF cases in wild boar to the OIE was Hungary with 187 new cases. Of this total, 105 were found as a cluster in the northeastern region of Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen.

Other European countries reporting new cases in wild boar to the OIE over the past week were Romania (27), Moldova (18) and Latvia (3).

During the whole of 2019, the EC recorded a total of just under 6,000 ASF cases in wild boar from all these European countries.

ASF resolved in one Ukrainian region

Ukraine’s animal health authority has reported that the ASF situation has been “resolved” in the southeastern oblast of Zaporizhia.

This declaration was made to the OIE over the past week. It follows three confirmed outbreaks of the disease — two on farms, and one in wild boar — between March  and September 2019.

Forecasts point to a 7% drop in global pork production in 2020. Analysts based this projection on the likely combined impacts of ASF and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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

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