Eleven months after the Veterinary and Food Board of Estonia reported its first cases of African swine fever (ASF) to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), thousands of animals have been affected by the disease.
In September 2014, the first cases of ASF were in wild boars in the south of the country in the region of Valga, which borders Latvia. However, the number of domestic pigs on farms affected by ASF has grown, Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) reports. Authorities are struggling to find suitable locations to dispose of the carcasses safely.
Reports to the OIE from the board indicate the first cases in domestic pigs were confirmed in mid-July 2015, and that the number of animals affected totals fewer than 4,400 on 9 farms in the central and southern regions of Viljandi, Valga, Tartu, Jarva and Lääne-Viru. As for cases in wild boar, 382 animals have died of the disease so far.
Estonia’s pig industry
There are an estimated 900 pig farms and 370,000 pigs in Estonia. European Union agency, Eurostats puts the total number of animals in 2014 at just under 358,000, including 33,600 sows, and pig meat output for the year at 40,550 metric tons.