After more than a week of speculation, the official confirmation arrived yesterday: African Swine Fever virus (ASFv) has also reached Serbia late July.
In total 4 outbreaks were reported yesterday to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE); they were found in relatively small farms in the district around the capital Belgrade and the adjoining Podunavlje district. All outbreaks were found in a relatively small patch, close to each other. In total 7 animals were found infected, and another 114 animals had to be culled.
A backyard farm is being disinfected to avoid further spread of ASF. Photo: Dr Iwona Markowska-Daniel
ASF outbreaks reported to OIE
Chronologically, the following outbreaks were reported:
July 30: Backyard farm with 24 animals of which 1 died from the ASF virus. This was in the village Rabrovac-Sume, near Mladenovac, Belgrade district.
August 1: Backyard farm with 10 animals; again 1 animal died from the ASF. This was in the same district, in Velika Krsna, at about 6km south east of the 1st outbreak.
August 6: Backyard farm with 23 animals of which 3 died from the ASF. This occurred again in Velika Krsna, so close to the outbreak of August 1.
August 7: The biggest facility reported in this report, on a farm with 64 pigs, 2 died from the ASF. This occurred in Kusada, Podunavlje district, but still within a few km of the other 3 outbreaks.
Suspicions about the news already circulated for a while in the local media.
ASF virus flaring up in Eastern Europe
The virus is lately flaring up in many countries in Eastern Europe. Last week, reports came through of in total 130,000 pigs having to be culled in Bulgaria. In addition, recently, the virus also was confirmed in Slovakia.
All in all, it means that since the introduction of ASF in 2007 in the Caucasian area, now 16 European countries have had to face the virus in its wild boar or domestic pig herd population – or both.
Click here for all the latest information on the outbreak of ASF - plus interactive maps to tracks its path