Latvia has reported this year’s first outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in domestic pigs. A backyard farm housing 18 pigs had to cull all after two pigs had succumbed to the virus.
In total 11 of the pigs on-farm were tested positive for the virus, states the report that was sent to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The outbreak was reported on June 16, in Dubnas parish, Daugavpils county, in the South East of Latvia, as this map shows.
Of all European Union (EU) countries, Latvia undoubtedly has had the most reports of ASF so far. Most of these (approximately 320) have applied to individual wild boar(s) found dead or infected in the countryside. In the whole of 2014, there were 170 reports; the year 2015 saw 150 only in the first six months.
Remarkably, this year most ASF virus activity has been in the country’s north, close to and beyond the border with Estonia. Infected wild boars continue to be found in an area with a radius that appears to be growing every week. The location with the infected backyard farm, however, was in the south east, in an area that was predominantly hit in 2014. Recently, only occasional reports have come from this area.
African Swine Fever has been a problem in Eastern Europe since 2007. Apart from the EU countries Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, the disease has had made a big impact in subsequently Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.