As summer is about to start, Poland sees a re-occurrence in the number of outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF). Last week, outbreaks were reported from 2 smaller farms.
In the last few years, especially the summer months, have been difficult for smaller swine producers in Eastern Poland. The vast majority of Poland’s 194 infected facilities with domestic pigs (OIE) were reported during the summer months. Especially in 2017 and 2018 numbers shot up to over 70 and close to 100 respectively. The virus has been roaming around in wild boar in eastern Poland since 2014.
This year the count of infected farms has risen to 5. Last week, another 2 small farms were confirmed to be infected. The larger of the 2 was found in Warmia-Masuria province, in the north east of the country. On this farm, there were in total 21 pigs, of which 4 tested positive after 2 had died of the virus. Remarkably, this farm was on of the most western sites in Poland so far to get infected – only a farm close to Warsaw was a touch more West. The newly infected farm is still about 430km away from the border with Germany.
The other farm to be reported infected was located 400km south from there, in Lublin province. This farm only had 2 pigs.
In May, 2 larger commercial facilities of 1,700 and 8,000 animals were found infected.
Read more about pig health in the Pig Progress Health Tool
The news comes at the time when ASF even led to a court case in Lublin province. A veterinarian had to appear in court over an alleged case of breaking the biosecurity protocol.
In a rare twist of events, in September 2018, the vet thought he was calling a pig farmer and client, while appearing to suggest to swap blood samples. Unfortunately, the vet had been calling a local journalist with the same name as the farmer. The journalist published a transcript of the phone call in Wspólnota, one of the largest weeklies in Eastern Poland.
As a result, eventually prosecution followed. In a session earlier this month, initially the judge did not want to continue with the case, but the prosecution appealed to that decision. A next hearing is now scheduled for Oct 11. To be continued…