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Fourth European nation reports ASF in pigs this year

As well as at a large commercial farm in Romania, cases have been confirmed in their respective wild boar by 16 European states so far in 2023.

PIG FARM, Veterinarian At Work
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Along with Moldova, Romania, and Serbia, Italy has registered its first outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) this year in domestic pigs.

So far this year, ASF has been detected in domestic pigs in four countries in or adjacent to the European Union (EU).

Combined, the outbreaks total 51, according to the latest update of the Animal Disease Information System of the European Commission (EC; dated February 12).

Compared with the situation reported on January 28, this is an increase of 20 outbreaks.

While 36 of the outbreaks have occurred in Romania, Moldova and Serbia have each registered seven outbreaks in domestic swine with the EC.

Earlier this month, the first outbreak of the year in this population was recorded in Italy. Details of the outbreak are not reported through this system. One possibility is that it occurred on the island of Sardinia, where ASF is considered to be endemic, mainly among feral pigs.

ASF confirmed at another commercial farm in Romania

Among the 10 ASF outbreaks in domestic pigs officially confirmed by Romania’s veterinary agency over the past two weeks was one affecting a large commercial farm.

Starting in the first week of February, eight pigs died at the premises, according to the official notification to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).  At the time of that report, culling of the remaining 16,000 or so animals at the farm was in progress.  The outbreak was in Calarasi, a county in southern Romania that borders Bulgaria.

It brings to 15 the number of outbreaks at premises described as “farms” to WOAH in this part of the country since February 2021.

In addition to this significant outbreak, cases of ASF were detected in nine other herds across the country. These involved a total of 35 pigs.

Disease developments in Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine

Also registering new outbreaks with WOAH over the past two weeks were Moldova and Serbia. All were in non-commercial herds.

In a series of ASF outbreaks now in its fourth year, the Serbian animal health authority has confirmed with WOAH cases in a further six backyard herds. These involved a total of 70 pigs at four locations in the central district of Pomoravlje, and three in Pcinja in the south. The latter shares international frontiers with Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

Moldova has officially confirmed the first cases of ASF in domestic pigs in Leova since October 2021. According to WOAH notifications so far, the virus has been detected in four backyard herds — a total of eight pigs — since February 7. Located in the Southern Region, the district is in the west of the country, and it borders Romania.

To WOAH, Moldova’s authorities have recently declared the ASF situation “resolved” in two other districts. These declarations came after single outbreaks in Nisporeni and Orhei, which are in the Central Region.

Covering the southern oblast of Mykolaiv, Ukraine’s veterinary agency has made a similar declaration to WOAH. During the first half of December, two outbreaks were reported at small farms in this region.

Infected wild boar in 16 European states this year

Over the past two weeks, Ukraine has registered with the EC its first cases of ASF of the year in its wild boar population. This brings to 16 the number of countries registering such outbreaks with its information system.

Testing positive for the virus were three wild boar found dead in Chernivtsi, according to the WOAH notification. Situated in western Ukraine, the oblast had been free of ASF for exactly 12 months. The location appears to be near to the Romanian border.

So far this year, a total of 1,496 ASF outbreaks in wild boar have been confirmed to the EC.

Among the nations registering new cases in this population are Poland (497 outbreaks since January 1), Germany (267), Slovakia (117), Romania (108) and Hungary (107).

Also reporting ASF outbreaks to the EC System over the past two weeks have been Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Serbia.

Since Germany’s first ASF cases in September 2020, its total ASF cases in wild boar has reached 4,979. This is according to the national veterinary agency, the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute (FLI; as of February 10).

Latest data from FLI indicate 210 ASF-positive cases detected between January 12 and February 15. All were in wild boar in the eastern German states of Brandenburg and Saxony, where previous cases have been confirmed.

Recent declarations of the resolution of the disease situation have been received by WOAH from Russia. These cover the oblasts of Ivanovo and Tver in the Central federal district.

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

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