Poland has confirmed its first two cases of African swine fever (ASF). The Polish government said on February 18 it is taking action to stop the spread of the disease.

State veterinarians confirmed African swine fever in Poland following tests on carcasses of wild boars found near the village of Szudzialowo, near the Belarus border. A buffer zone has been set up along parts of the borders with Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine, Poland's chief veterinary officer Janusz Zwiazek told reporters. Officials have ordered farmers to fence in their land, lay down disinfectant mats and test and monitor shipments of live pigs out of the zone.

The ban comes at a time when the European Union is working to end Russia's ban on pork from the EU, which was imposed on January 29 after Lithuania confirmed ASF in two wild boars.

Russia previously imported nearly a fourth of EU pork exports, and Poland is one of the EU's leading pork exporters, with 2013 exports valued at EUR 912 million (US$1.25 billion).