ASF Poland: Outbreaks in the west far from over

17-01-2020 | | |
A dead wild boar in a forest. Photo: Petr Satran, Czech State Veterinary Administration
A dead wild boar in a forest. Photo: Petr Satran, Czech State Veterinary Administration

Fresh findings of wild boar carcasses that died of African Swine Fever continue to be reported in Western Poland, close to the German border. In addition, official reports show that 2019 was the worst year so far with regard to ASF outbreaks in Eastern Europe.

In Western Poland, each day new reports of succumbed wild boar come in, in the area relatively close to the border with important pig country Germany. In the west of the country, at the moment there are 124 known findings places discovered.

ASF occurrence is far from over

In the first 16 days of January alone, 42 new outbreak locations were reported in Western Poland by the Polish Central Veterinary Inspectorate, which is an indication that the occurrence of the virus is far from over. With some of the more recent outbreaks, at this stage only the location has been shared, and more specific details are still to follow. On the basis of the currently available information, it is possible to conclude that at least 167 wild boar have died due to African Swine Fever (ASF) in Western Poland.

On the interactive map below, the outbreaks in wild boar in Western Poland have been included with red markers. All dark red markers indicate recent outbreaks. The blue markers in Eastern Poland refer to outbreaks on swine farms in recent years. Outbreaks in wild boar in Eastern Poland have not been included in this map.

In Western Poland only wild boar affected by ASF

The total area in Western Poland where carcasses are found measures 73km east to west and 55km north to south, an area which is spread out over 3 provinces. In this part of the country, so far no pig farms have been affected by the presence of the virus.

The majority of the locations of the 124 findings are in the province Lubusz. In total 108 locations have been identified with dead wild boar – some with just 1 animal, some with up to 10 animals in one spot. In this province, the closest find was also made – south of the city Zary, just over 21km as the crow flies from the border with Germany. That particular case was found a month ago, December 19, 2019.

Infected wild boar carcasses have been found in 14 locations in Greater Poland province so far. In Lower Silesia province dead wild boar were found in 2 locations.

Outbreaks also continue to be reported from other parts of Poland. In eastern Poland, ASF has been around since 2014 and has spread to 5 provinces affecting small and large farms. A nice time lapse was recently published on social media which shows the development of ASF outbreaks in Poland over the years.

Germany: Damages to the fence

In order to keep ASF out of neighbouring Germany, the German authorities recently erected an electric fence from Frankfurt an der Oder all the way south to the border with the 3-country point with the Czech Republic. Unfortunately, according to local media, the fence has been damaged in various places.

According to local media outlet RBB2, hikers would have tried to climb over the fence or torn holes in it. In addition, thieves have taken away cables after cutting off the electricity. As the fences are being inspected on a daily basis, the damage has already been repaired.

African Swine Fever in Eastern Europe

In recent figures presented by the European Union, Poland ‘scored’ highest when all the outbreaks of ASF were counted amongst wild boar. The country counted 2,468 outbreaks in wild boar last year. In domestic pigs, Romania had the highest toll, with 1,724 outbreaks on (backyard) farms.

Zooming out, it is clear that year after year the figures are rising. Both in wild boar as well as in domestic pigs, 2019 was the heaviest year until now.

Romania hit heavily by ASF

For Romania, a recent picture has also come in. The Romanian authorities have reported that the most recent total count show that 2,923 outbreaks have been recorded in domestic pigs near 896 different towns since the outbreaks first occurred in 2017. On top of that, the virus has been found in 256 hunting areas throughout the country ever since the first outbreak occurred.

The total cull rate in Romania, according to an update from January 13, is at 525,315 pigs.

Figure 2 – Map of ASF outbreaks in Romania – both active and resolved. Situation on January 13, 2020.

ASF Poland: Outbreaks in the west far from over

Source: Ministry of agriculture, Romania.

Actual ASF situation in Serbia

News agency Reuters wrote that Serbia reported that ASF had reached the country’s wild boar population. At an earlier stage, from July-September 2019, the country reported outbreaks on mostly backyard farms. This is the first mention of the virus occurring in wild boar.

Infected wild boar were found in the eastern Serbian areas of Pirot and Kladovo, Reuters wrote, quoting the Serbian news agency Tanjug. To date, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has not yet confirmed these outbreaks.

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ter Beek
Vincent ter Beek Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world