More ASF outbreaks in eastern Europe, Zimbabwe

Since early September, new outbreaks of African swine fever have been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) by several countries in eastern Europe and Africa.

FREEIMAGES.COM | Janne Karin Brodin
FREEIMAGES.COM | Janne Karin Brodin

Since early September, new outbreaks of African swine fever have been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) by several countries in eastern Europe and Africa.

From Zimbabwe, the veterinary authority has reported 5 outbreaks of the disease, all in late July 2015 in free-ranging village pigs in the Dande valley. This area lies in the state on Marshonaland Central, along the Mozambican border.

Local spread is due to movements of infected animals and meat, according to the Director of Livestock Services in Harare, as pigs are taken to market or moved to another village with the aim to save them from infection. These activities risk spreading the virus further, as does poor carcass disposal. Infected areas have been placed under quarantine and a roadblock has been set up with the aim to prevent movement of animals and meat.

Campaigns have started in infected areas and adjacent villages to make pig-keepers aware of the need to confine pigs, dispose of carcasses by burning and burying and not to trade in infected meat. While there is a general willingness to comply, local people rely on their animals being able to forage for feed, which they cannot do when confined, and the owners cannot afford to buy special feeds.

Russia has reported 3 outbreaks of African swine fever so far this month, all of them in village pigs. In total, 32 domestic pigs died or were destroyed in these outbreaks, in the previously affected oblasts of Sarakov, Volgograd and Oryol.

A seminar on transboundary diseases was conducted recently in Ulan Bator in Mongolia, according to Chinese sources. Among other diseases, African swine fever and foot and mouth disease (FMD) were discussed by delegates, who included more than 60 representatives from Russia, China and the host country as well as international animal health organizations. At this, the 5th meeting in the series, agreement was reached to increase communication and cooperation with the view to control better these economically significant infections.

Since August 23, Estonia has reported 25 outbreaks of African swine fever in southern and central regions of the country. All were in wild boar, with 34 animals either dying or destroyed as the result of infection.

There have been 65 new outbreaks in Latvia. Most of these outbreaks have been in wild boar hunted or found dead in areas already known to be infected. Two groups of domestic pigs were also affected, both in the county of Rezkenes, involving 144 pigs at a farm and 2 from a backyard; all of the surviving animals have been destroyed.

At the end of August, one dead wild boar in the region of Vilnius in Lithuania tested positive for the African swine fever virus.

Two new outbreaks in Ukraine have led to the death or destruction of 67 village pigs. One of these occurred in Rivne in the north-west of the country, close to the border with Belarus, while the other was in the north in Chernihiv oblast. 

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