It’s only half way through the year. But the total number of African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in wild boars will soon be higher than the whole of last year.
Five European countries have reported new outbreaks of wild swine fever in wild boars. In Poland alone, there were 540 new cases between the start of the year and last week. Over the past few weeks, Hungary, Romania, Latvia and Moldova have also reported that wild boar carcasses tested positive.
According to the European Commission, there have been a total of 6,285 cases of ASF in European wild boars this year.
Farms were also affected. Romania has reported 11 new outbreaks – most of them from backyard properties. However, two large farms were also affected, resulting in 2,330 heads being killed or culled.
In Ukraine, for the first time in almost a year, a case of ASF was confirmed on a farm in the Sumy region. According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), 23 animals were infected, one of whom died from animal disease.
In total, the European Commission had recorded 286 outbreaks in domestic pigs in Europe by the end of May.
But there is hope, too: Belgium has announced that it will reduce the size of the Asia-Pacific buffer zone in the province of Luxembourg. The measure has been agreed to by the European Union, so that there is now increased hope of ending export restrictions. The last detections of a pig infected with ASF within the region were on August 11, 2019. If no infected wild boar were also detected in the miniature buffer zone, Belgium could be officially declared ASF-free again in the fall of 2020.
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