A European Union (EU) program grant of 2.5 million EUR has been established for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to prevent African swine fever from spreading into the EU pig herd has been endorsed by the Standing Committee for Animal Health and Welfare.
The program focuses on key preventive measures, which include cleansing and disinfection of vehicles, surveillance and laboratory testing, awareness campaigns and even the use of wild boar repellents. Preventive early slaughter of pigs in risky backyard farms is recommended in the spirit that "prevention is better than cure." Recent outbreaks of African swine fever in Russia and Belarus constitute a threat to EU pig farmers. African swine fever could enter the EU through illegal introduction of pig products, such as pork, via contaminated livestock vehicles or the migration of infected wild boars.
African swine fever is an infectious disease that is usually fatal and no vaccine exists to combat the virus. Its spread into the EU would cause important losses to the pig sector and disrupt the internal market and exports for live pigs and porcine products.