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African Swine Fever continues its deadly spread

1st Aug 2017 / By Andrea Vickers

African Swine Fever continues its deadly spread

African Swine Fever has been identified for the first time in Romania, in domestic pigs on a backyard holding. Whilst the source is stated as unknown, humans are most likely to be the cause as many of these European countries struggle to express the importance of not feeding swill to back yard pig keepers.

The case occurred near the border with Ukraine, where the virus is already present. However the holding is also near the border with Hungary and therefore potentially represents the start of another front of ASF developing in Eastern Europe.

RomaniaCases of ASF in wild boar also continue to occur in the Czech Republic. These have all been in the Zlin region in the east of the country meaning the disease has not yet spread into areas with high density of commercial pigs. Control measures are in place covering the entire region of Zlin.  

Nonetheless, these cases are concerning given the number (there have now been more than 60 cases) and the wild boar density in the area.

All pig keepers are reminded to be vigilant and maintain biosecurity including ensuring pigs are not fed catering waste or kitchen scraps. Any clinical signs should be reported promptly to a veterinarian.

AHDB Pork have produced useful posters for display on farm reminding staff of their responsibilities regarding not bringing pork products on farm. They can be downloaded here.

The NPA is pressing Defra to raise its current ‘very low’ risk status of the disease and recognise the very real threat that this continued spread into the EU poses for us all.