Two large farms in Russia have been affected by African swine fever
Further cases of African swine fever (ASF) has been reported in eight countries in central and eastern Europe over the past week, and the disease appears to have returned to Zimbabwe, affecting a new region.
Zimbabwe has become the second African country — after South Africa — to report cases of African swine fever this year.
The ASF virus was detected earlier this month in Mashonaland Central. Latest to be affected was a herd of 114 free-ranging pigs in the village of Goma. According to the official report from the country’s veterinary agency the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), more than 30 of the animals died. At the same time, the agency reported that a previous ASF situation had been “resolved,” following a single outbreak involving village pigs in Manicaland in January of this year. Both provinces border Mozambique, and the earlier outbreak occurred close to the frontier.
Two large farms in Russia infected with ASF
Russia has been battling ASF on three broad regions since the start of this year, and that battle has now involved two large farms in the west of the country.
In a concerning development, domestic pigs have been affected for the first time in Kaliningrad. According to the report from the agriculture ministry to the OIE, two animals died out of the total herd of more 24,700. Wild boar have tested positive for the ASF virus in Kaliningrad, which is in Russia’s Northwestern Federal District and lies on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Poland.
The other Russian farm to have been confirmed with ASF is in the oblast of Kursk, which is in the Central Federal District. More than 39,400 pigs were at the premises. ASF has also been confirmed at two smaller farms described as “backyards” — in the oblast of Nizhny Novgorod (Volga district), and Volgograd (Southern district).
ASF has also been confirmed recently in Russia’s Far East region.
Poland reports 10 new ASF outbreaks on farms
The number of Polish farm with confirmed ASF outbreaks this year has risen to 44 with the latest report from the agriculture ministry to the OIE. Affected farms — which ranged in size from 3 to more than 2,000 animals — were in the previously affected areas of Warmia-Masuria, Mazovia, and Lublin. Over 5,200 pigs were lost to the disease as the result of mortality or culling in these outbreaks.
Bulgaria: Large farm infected with ASF
Over the past week, there have been three confirmed outbreaks of ASF in domestic pigs in Bulgaria. The largest was at a farm in the northern province of Ruse where more than 4,560 animals died or have been slaughtered to halt the spread of the virus. According to the official report to the OIE, two more pigs died from the disease in smallholdings in Blagoevgard and Veliko Tarnovo.
To cover compensation and other expenses relating to the control of ASF in Bulgaria, the government has allocated 28 million lev (BGN; US$16 million), reports Novinite. According to the agriculture ministry, 75% of this sum will be recovered from the European Union, and the main beneficiaries will be large farms where there was a voluntary decision to cull animals.
A separate scheme to compensate those with small herds that have been culled was announced previously.
Agriculture minister, Desislava Taneva, confirmed earlier this week that there had been five outbreaks of ASF in domestic pigs during August, which is a “significant decline” from the 28 premises affected the previous month, reports Novinite.
Cluster of new outbreaks in Serbia
Following confirmation of the first outbreak of ASF in the Republic of Serbia earlier this month, further cases found among small herds were confirmed at 12 locations during the first week of August, according to the OIE report from the agriculture ministry. All the affected premises were at two villages in the same municipality — Mladenovac — in the region of Belgrade, and they bring the country’s losses so far to 262 pigs at 16 locations.
Further ASF cases in three areas of Romania
More than 4,200 domestic pigs have been lost to ASF as the result of new outbreaks of the disease reported to the OIE by the Romanian veterinary agency. The cases were confirmed between July 7 and August 17 at in the north-west, south, and southeast of the country.
Up to August 25, there have been 1,255 confirmed outbreaks of ASF among domestic pigs in Europe so far in 2019, according to the European Commission (EC). From this source, by far worst affected has been Romania (1,113 outbreaks), followed by Poland (44), Bulgaria and Ukraine (each with 33), and Lithuania (15). Other European states with confirmed outbreaks are Italy, Latvia, Serbia, and Slovakia.
ASF in European wild boar: six states report new outbreaks
Over the past week, OIE has received confirmation from other countries about ASF cases in wild boar, including Romania (136 animals), Poland (101), Hungary (40), Bulgaria (37), Latvia (7), and Moldova (2).
Confirming the 50th cases of ASF in wild boar in Bulgaria earlier this week, head of the country’s food safety agency said that the disease is affecting the entire community, mainly in the form of anxiety rather than changing peoples’ habits, reports Novinite.
This year, there have been 4,038 confirmed outbreaks of ASF among European wild boar up to mid-August, according to the EC. Poland has reported the most outbreaks (1,602), followed by Hungary (847), Belgium (479), Romania (405), Lithuania (333), and Latvia (225). Other European states reporting outbreaks in wild boar during 2019 are Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.