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ASF Poland: 16 farms infected in 2021

The number of farms that got infected with African Swine Fever in Poland has risen rapidly over the last few weeks. At the moment 16 farm sites have been confirmed infected. The developments happen at a moment that numbers of infected wild boar rise in Western Poland and Germany, which is uncommon for the summer months.

It is a common pattern that Polish farm sites report the incidence of ASF predominantly in summer – that happened as well in previous years. In the 1st 5 months of the year, just 2 farms found African Swine Fever on their premises, but since June 19, that amount rose by 14. Most occurrences appear to be related to each other and have happened all over Poland. Virtually all farm sites are relatively small, with only one site having more than 1,000 pigs at the location. That farm, located in Nowy Tomysl district in Greater Poland province, had 1,911 pigs on-site.

The number of ASF infected wild boar has been rising recently in Western Poland, which is uncommon for the summer months. - Photo: Jan Vullings
The number of ASF infected wild boar has been rising recently in Western Poland, which is uncommon for the summer months. - Photo: Jan Vullings

3 backyard farms close to Germany

Of the 14 new farms, 3 backyard farm sites were relatively close to Germany (<60km), all 3 of them in Lubusz province, near Debczyn, Zarzyn and Szprotawa villages. Remarkable is also the infection of 3 backyard farms in Lódz province in Central Poland, where so far no outbreaks in wild boar were reported.

Ever since the virus was confirmed in Poland in 2014, in total now 356 farm sites have reported the occurrence of the virus. The year 2020 has so far been the most intensive with 103 farm sites being infected.

Number of wild boar in Western Poland rises

ASF occurs in wild boar in both Eastern and Western Poland. When zooming in on the cluster in the west, close to the border with Germany, it can be observed that in recent weeks the outbreak numbers have grown. As the map shows below, the total confirmed amount of infected wild boar grew to 5,141 ever since the virus was discovered in Western Poland in November 2019.

That pattern is rather a-typical as the number of infected wild boar usually drops during the summer months and would reach its annual zenith during winter. In April 2021, however, the number of infected carcasses was at 282 – in May that rose again to 303. Last year in the same months, the number of cases dropped from 295 to 107.

Figure 1 shows that a similar development seems to be going on at the other side of the border as Germany reported a higher number of ASF infected wild boar in June 2021 when compared to May 2021 – there the amount grew from 113 (May) until 171 (June). Core zones therefore continue to be expanded, especially around Frankfurt an der Oder.

The total amount of infected wild boar in Eastern Germany now stands at 1,429.