The African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic in Poland is far from over. This week, a commercial production facility having 8,012 pigs had to be depopulated due to the virus – most likely the largest farm so far to be hit by ASF.
The African Swine Fever outbreak was found on 28 May, on a breeding farm in the village Wolka Wygonowska, near Orla, in Podlaskie province, in the east of the country. In a straight line, the farm was located about 10 km west of the border with Belarus. According to local media the farm had 750 sows, with piglets being sold to local farms for meat production. These local farms are also being investigated. It is unknown how the virus got on the farm – according to veterinary authorities, the farm complied with biosecurity measures.
Disinfection of a pig farm in Poland. Photo: Iwona Markowska-Daniel
3rd outbreak on a Polish pig farm in 2019
The outbreak is the 3rd on a commercial facility this year, after 2 cases on farms in Warmia-Masuria in January (67 pigs) and on 16 May (1,712 pigs). This province is located in the north east of the country, bordering both Belarus and the Russian exclave Kaliningrad.
The farm of 8,000 pigs is most likely the largest farm so far to be hit by ASF in Poland, ever since the virus has hit Poland in 2014. Last year, also near Orla, a farm had to be depopulated in early June, which had 5,909 pigs on-site. In addition, various farms with a population of roughly 2,000 pigs had to be depopulated.
Most farm outbreaks with ASF during summer
The recent outbreaks on the farms come on top of quite a few ASF cases amongst the country’s wild boar population, discovered mainly in the 1st 3 months of the year.
It remains to be seen what is going to happen in the next few months. Over the last years, reports of ASF on (backyard) farms in Poland virtually always occurred during the summer months, between May and September. In total about 200 facilities have reported the virus since 2014 in Eastern and North-Eastern Poland.