The month of July has been the most intensive month so far with regard to outbreaks of African Swine Fever in the European Union: 253 reports.
This makes July 2015 alone as intensive as the entire previous year 2014, when 251 outbreaks were reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) over 12 months. The number also means a 184% increase in comparison to June 2015, when ‘only’ 89 reports were submitted. The count for the total number of outbreaks in the first seven months of 2015 (Jan-July) was thus 558.
The majority of the outbreaks occurred in the country’s wild boar populations, but also 4 farms and 5 backyard farms reported being infected by the disease.
The number is made up of reports of the four affected EU countries Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. The number of outbreaks is most likely strongly related to the warm weather, a condition in which the virus thrives.
The majority of outbreaks can be found in Latvia, where 142 outbreaks alone were found. These were virtually all outbreaks in wild boars. The animals are all found in the east of the country. Only one Latvian backyard farm was found infected in July, in Ciblas county, in a facility with 5 pigs.
Estonia was the latest country where ASF appeared in the EU, and is seeing increasing amounts of outbreaks, totalling to 88 in July 2015. In this month alone, four farms were affected (in Viljandi (2x), Järva and Tartu counties) as well as three backyard facilities. In total, 2,220 pigs had to be culled due to these outbreaks.
Lithuania reported 16 outbreaks of the virus, predominantly in wild boars. One backyard farm, with 3 pigs, was affected.
Pig Progress also made a video highlighting how this farm came back.
In Poland, things appear to calm down, as only 7 outbreaks were reported to the OIE. As usual, these only take place in the Podlaskie province, which is close to the border with Belarus.
So far, August appears to give much the same picture as July.