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More ASF confirmed in European backyard pigs

New infections among wild boar are more widespread, with 14 countries in central and eastern Europe registering new cases over the past week.

Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Germany And France On A Blurry Europea
ChristianOstmo | Bigstock.com

Latest reported cases of African swine fever in Europe’s domestic pigs have been confined to small backyard herds in four countries.

For the year so far, six countries in Europe have registered one of more outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) among domestic pigs.

This is according to the latest update of the Animal Disease Information System of the European Commission (EC; dated March 10).

Registering the most outbreaks in this category so far is Romania. At 43, the figure is unchanged from the previous week. Next comes Serbia — now with 19 reported outbreaks since the start of January. Moldova’s total stands at 12.

Previously this year, the EC was notified of two outbreaks in Ukraine, and one each in Germany and Italy.

Further detail is provided by notifications from the national animal health agencies to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).

All of the outbreaks reported to WOAH over the past week have been in small non-commercial pig herds.

In Moldova, ASF cases have been confirmed in four backyard herds in two districts. Three Romanian outbreaks have occurred in different counties. Meanwhile, all three of the latest outbreaks in Serbia were in Pomoravlje.

For two districts in its Northern Region — Drochia and Falesti — Moldova’s veterinary authority has declared to WOAH that the ASF situation has been “resolved.” The declarations came after two and one previous outbreaks, respectively, among backyard groups of domestic pigs in these districts.

ASF cases in European wild boar pass 2,400

Already this year, the total number of ASF outbreaks across Europe has reached 2,424, according to EC’s information system (as of March 10). Sixteen countries have registered one or more such outbreaks through this system since January 1.

Among the nations registering further cases in this population are Poland (810 outbreaks so far), Germany (413), Italy (224), Slovakia (212), Hungary (170) and Romania (155).

Also reporting new ASF outbreaks to the EC System since the previous update on March 3 were Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, North Macedonia and Serbia.

Over the past seven days, Poland’s veterinary authority has notified WOAH about 262 cases of ASF in wild boar. Up to March 9, the nation’s chief veterinary office has recorded 712 outbreaks for the year so far.

Since ASF was first detected in Germany in September 2020, virus-positive cases in the country’s wild boar stand at 5,144. This is according to the national veterinary agency, the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute (as of March 17). The figure includes 127 cases confirmed over the previous 28 days.

Ukraine’s animal health agency has declared to WOAH that the disease situation in Chernivtsi has ended. In this western region, three wild boar found dead were found to be infected at the end of January.

ASF developments in Russia

After a four-month hiatus, the ASF virus was detected again in the Volgograd region this month. One of the 12 swine died at a premises in this region of the Southern federal district, according to the latest WOAH notification.

In the Volga federal district, a wild boar has tested positive for the virus in Saratov. This is the first case in the region since some domestic pigs in February, and among the wild population in December 2022.

Illegal pork seized at English port

Approximately 80 kilograms of pig meat products have been seized by the Hull and Goole Port Authority, according to Hull Daily Mail. The products were part of four consignments brought in by travelers from different European Union member states.

From September 2022, new regulations were introduced in the United Kingdom (U.K.). These aimed to prevent the entry of the ASF virus, which is circulating widely elsewhere in the world.

Under the rules, the maximum limit for the import of pig meat products in incoming vehicles and passenger luggage from the EU was set at 2 kilograms. Those entering from non-EU countries are not allowed to bring any such pig products into the U.K. Larger quantities of pork products — including commercial trade — requires full health certification.

No cases of ASF have ever been detected in the U.K., either in wild or domestic pigs.

Elsewhere in the world, a new wave of ASF outbreaks has been reported in pig farms in China. Meanwhile, the U.S. pork industry is being urged to strengthen biosecurity to prepare for the eventuality that the ASF virus enters the country.

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

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