New cases of African swine fever have been reported in Estonia and Slovakia

The State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) informs that on 14th of July, 2021 ASF was detected in a commercial pig holding in Estonia (Harju County, Kiili Parish) where more than 1700 pigs are kept. According to the primary data, protection and monitoring zones that do not cover pig holdings have been identified. It was found that the nearest pig keeping place is 30 km from the focus of the disease. An epidemiological investigation is currently being carried out to determine the way the disease was introduced into that holding.

The SFVS specialists report that this news is highly unexpected, since the last case of ASF in Estonian pig farms was recorded back only in 2017 and in the wild fauna (wild boars) in February 2019.

Another case was found in Slovakia, Banská Bystrica. The focus of the disease was detected in a pig holding with more than 8000 pigs. All pigs have been killed to prevent the spread of the disease and an epidemiological investigation  is currently being carried out. It is important to note that there is an active circulation of the virus in wild fauna in Slovakia, for as many as 1230 cases were detected this year.

These outbreaks prove anew that the disease is in the wings and can strike anytime, thus all pig keepers should prioritize the implementation of biosecurity measures and comply with them on a routine basis.

Once again, we call on pig farmers to be vigilant, to closely monitor the kept animals, to ensure that no unauthorized persons visit the pig keeping facilities and that farm pigs are separated from livestock grazing in pastures, also to feed pigs only with heat-treated feed. Visiting forests, harvesting berries or picking mushrooms also pose a significant risk for the ASF virus to be transmitted from nature to pig farms.