At the recent meeting of the European Union’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels, the Polish delegation expressed its dissatisfaction over measures to eradicate African swine fever (ASF) in its own country and failure to support Ukraine’s efforts to control the disease.

Specifically, Poland disagrees with a recent extension of its area subject to ASF restrictions on the grounds that the disease situation is stable and control measures have been adopted. The European Commission has responded, saying the measures taken are in line with its rules for the eradication of ASF. A ministerial conference in Estonia at the end of February will discuss and may update the eradication strategy.

Several member states supported the Polish delegation’s request for the EU to provide Ukraine with financial support to control ASF in its territory and thus prevent the spread of the disease to the EU. The commission confirmed that it is ready to finance such measures but that Ukraine had not yet provided the necessary information.

Outbreaks of ASF continue in Europe

Over the last month, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and Russia have reported new outbreaks of ASF to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The great majority of the cases have been in wild boars.

From the cases reported, Estonia has been most affected, with 237 wild boar dead or destroyed in 68 outbreaks in central and eastern regions of the country.

A total of 102 wild boar have died or been destroyed following confirmation of ASF in the eastern half of Latvia. All the animals were in areas known to be infected with the disease.

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In central and eastern Lithuania, 16 confirmed outbreaks of ASF have led to the deaths of 18 wild boar.

There have been two confirmed cases in Poland’s wild boar, both in the Podlaskie region where previous outbreaks have occurred.

Only wild boars have been affected by the disease in central Ukraine - a total of eight animals over the last four weeks.

In Russia, four herds of domestic pigs have been hit by ASF in recent weeks, all of them in Penza oblast. Two are described as “subsidiary farms”, with a total of 742 animals between them. Ten wild boars have been confirmed to have died from ASF, in the oblasts of Pskov, Novogorod and Ryazan.

Swine fever outbreaks in other countries

No reports about outbreaks of ASF or CSF have been received by the OIE over the last four weeks from countries outside Europe. Mongolia reported a return of CSF at the end of 2015, while ASF outbreaks were reported locally in Malawi and Uganda earlier this year.