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ASF Sweden: Infection rate in wild boar rises slowly to 49

09-10-2023 | |
The outbreaks in Sweden’s wild boar population east of the town Fagersta have now lasted for a month. Photo: SVA
The outbreaks in Sweden’s wild boar population east of the town Fagersta have now lasted for a month. Photo: SVA

The number of African Swine Fever (ASF) infected wild boar cases in Sweden has gone up to 49, a rise that isn’t spectacular. Even though every case is one too many. Over the last 2 weeks, just 8 new confirmed carcasses were found.

All confirmed carcasses have been found in the so-called core area east of the town Fagersta in the province Västmanland. The outbreaks all happened within a limited zone with a 2.5 km radius.

ASF outbreaks have lasted for a month

The outbreaks in Sweden’s wild boar population east of the town Fagersta have now lasted for a month, as the 1st case of ASF in wild boar was found on September 6. An infected zone of roughly 1,000 km2 was soon established. Authorities, hunters, volunteers and veterinarians have been working together intensively ever since, to make sure that the outbreaks will remain limited.

In a news article on the website of the Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA), Karl S. Ståhl, state epizootiologist at SVA, commented, “We now have an increasingly clear picture of the spread of the infection. All infected wild boar have been found within a very limited area, which is very favourable and provides good conditions for successful control efforts. At the same time, we are prepared for unwelcome surprises,” said Ståhl.

Policy of ASF containment

Thanks to the identification of the spread of the infection, containment has been initiated. The aim is to reduce the risk of infected animals leaving the area – and prevent healthy wild boar from entering it.

Katharina Gielen, head of infection control at the Swedish Board of Agriculture added, “The decision was necessary to take immediately so that we have the conditions to be able to fight the infection effectively and minimise the risk of the infection spreading further. At the same time, it is a decision that imposes strong restrictions on everyone who lives and works in the zone.”

Ståhl compared the battle against ASF with athletics. He said, “We have now completed a hundred metre race. But this is only the first hundred metres of a marathon. A marathon that we must complete together, the public, industries, voluntary organisations, associations, companies and, not least, between us authorities.”

False alarm on pig farm in Linköping

As a token that the battle may take more time was a bit of (media) unrest on October 4, when a suspected case emerged within a dead pig on a farm outside the city Linköping, over 200 km south of Fagersta. Immediate restrictions were imposed on the farm, but after tests by SVA, this animal tested negative for ASF virus.

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Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world




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