African swine fever still troubling Eastern Europe
Commercial pig herds spared in latest round of ASF cases
New outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) within the past month have been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) from countries in central and Eastern Europe. None involved commercial pig herds.
In Russia, the first outbreak of the disease was in January of 2014. A total of 68 wild boars were found dead in a hunting area at Okskoe in Moscow oblast last month but none has been reported more recently.
Lithuania has suffered outbreaks of African swine fever among its wild boar population since around the same time as Russia. The veterinary authority has reported the discovery of 14 wild boars at 11 locations since mid-March that have tested positive for the virus.
Estonia has suffered many outbreaks of the disease since its first in September of 2014, mainly in wild boars. Over the last month, the country has reported a further 50 outbreaks involving 96 wild boars. Despite this high number, the chief veterinary officer with the Ministry of Agriculture has announced that, while not resolved, the disease situation is stable and that reports will be sent to the OIE every six month in the future.
The chief veterinarian with the agriculture ministry in Riga has made a similar statement about the disease situation in Latvia and about future reporting. Over the last month, there have been 39 confirmed outbreaks of ASF, all in wild boars. Fifty animals were found dead and 22 have been destroyed.
A further three wild boars have been found dead in Poland over the last month. All were in the region of Podlaskie, which borders Belarus and is the location of the country’s previous cases of African swine fever.
The only country to have reported recent outbreaks in domestic pigs is Ukraine. Following outbreaks last year in Odessa, there have been a further three in small village or backyard herds in the same oblast during the last month. A total of 71 animals were affected, including 2 deaths, and the rest have been destroyed. Following the confirmation of ASF in wild boars in a different region - Zhitomir - in February, the authorities have lifted the quarantine and report the situation there as “resolved”.
African swine fever worries farmers in Malawi
Farmers in the district of Karonga in the north of Malawi have expressed fears about an outbreak of African swine fever since the disease hit the neighboring district of Chitipa district, which is around 650 kilometers north of the capital, Lilongwe, reports Capital Radio Malawi. To help awareness and control of this and other livestock diseases, the Developing Innovative Solutions with Communities to Overcome Vulnerability through Enhanced Resilience (DISCOVER) has been set up in the area to distribute drugs, work suits and bicycles to 12 newly trained community animal health workers.
Elsewhere in Africa, there have been no reports of new outbreaks of ASF in recent weeks. Mali has reported no new cases since the original outbreak in January in Ségou, which borders Burkina Faso. Kenya’s only reported outbreak was in February in a herd of village pigs in Central province, where the source of infection is thought to have been unprocessed swill feed. Also in February, there were two outbreaks in the state of Ngozi, which were attributed to the virus surviving from an outbreak in November 2015.
Classical swine fever returns to Russia
Two wild boars found dead in Primorsky Krai in February have tested positive for classical swine fever. These are the first cases in Russia since early December 2015.
The disease was first reported in Latvia in November 2012. As for African swine fever, the Chief Veterinary Officer has informed the OIE that the situation is stable and that the next report will not be made for six months.