The year 2021 has set a new record in terms of the number of farms that got infected with African Swine Fever (ASF) virus. Data from the Polish General Veterinary Inspectorate show that in early October 2021 alone 110 farms were infected.
The previous record was set by the year 2020, when 103 farm sites were infected. It is not likely that the amount of infected farms will rise much further this year. The majority of farm infections takes place during the summer months, when the harvest is being taken off the land, which could contain virus particles. Also, wild boar tend to get closer to farms in summer.
The majority of the infected farms in 2021 occurred in Eastern Poland. The province Subcarpathia, in the south east of Poland, took the largest load. Exactly half of this year’s infections took place there: 55.
In Western Poland 29 pig farms got infected
In the cluster in Western Poland, towards the border with Germany, 29 farms got infected in 2021. 3 of them had more than 1,000 pigs on-site. With the 12 infected farms in 2020, the tally of infected farms in Western Poland is now 41.
Fences in Germany to make entering as difficult as possible for wild boar migrating from Poland. Photo: Kees van Dooren & Vincent ter Beek
The largest farm that got infected this year was in also in Western Poland, in Lubusz province, in March. Almost 16,000 pigs were present at that site .
ASF has been around in Poland since 2014. It was been found at exactly 450 farm sites to date. The vast majority of these farms were relatively small, almost 350 of them had fewer than 100 pigs.
€ 40 million for Polish pig producers
The Polish government recently gave € 40 million in support to the pig industry. According to the authorities of the German state Brandenburg, Poland does not do enough to fight ASF virus in its wild boar population. In addition, Poland does not appear to be keen to build a fence at its border to prevent wild boar from migrating into Germany.