New African swine fever outbreaks in Asia, Africa, Europe

Further outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in domestic pigs in Cambodia, China, Romania, South Africa, and Ukraine over the past week, and there are new cases in European wild boar.

(Andrea Gantz)
(Andrea Gantz)

Further outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in domestic pigs in Cambodia, China, Romania, South Africa, and Ukraine over the past week, and there are new cases in European wild boars.

Four outbreaks of ASF in Hainan province reported by China’s agriculture ministry last week have been officially confirmed to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Affecting two farms and two backyard pig herds in four districts of the country’s most southerly island province, 517 animals were lost to the disease as a result of mortality or culling to reduce the risk of further spread.

With previous cases in two other districts of Hainan, these bring the total in the province to six outbreaks.

Restrictions imposed after a previous ASF outbreak were lifted last week in a district of Guigang city in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, according to the agriculture ministry in Beijing.

No new ASF outbreaks have been reported on the ministry’s website during the last week.

New ASF controls in Chinese pork supply chain

China’s authorities have stepped up measures to control ASF.

These include a new requirement for processors and dealers to carry out checks for the ASF virus on all pork products, and issue certificates proving they are free from the disease, reports Xinhua. Those who do not comply will face “harsh punishment.”

The move follows a previous announcement from the agriculture ministry that veterinarians working in larger slaughterhouses must check incoming animals and monitor their source so any infections can be traced back to their farm of origin.

The ministry said this system of self-checking is easier than on-farm controls based on clinical results and post-mortem examinations. Official veterinarians are now focusing on the supervision of quarantine measures.

Smaller facilities — those slaughtering fewer than 100,000 animals per year — have until July 1 to comply with the self-checking rules, or they will face closure.

New outbreaks in Cambodia

Cambodia’s total number of outbreaks has risen to seven with the recent confirmation of three additional outbreaks that started in early April. Direct losses from mortality and culls in the Southeast Asian nation now exceeds 2,600 animals. As with the previous outbreaks, the most recent outbreaks were in the province of Ratanakiri, but in a cluster of three villages in a different district, Oy Chum.

Over the past week, no new cases of ASF in Vietnam have been reported officially to the OIE, or by local media.

Second South African province reports ASF

Last week, the OIE received confirmation of a new outbreak of ASF in South Africa. Starting in mid-April, it affected a backyard herd of 190 animals at Ekurhuleni in Gauteng, killing 12 pigs.

This is second province to have reported ASF this year, and the agriculture ministry has linked it to a recent outbreak in neighboring Mpumalanga province. Both outbreaks occurred in locations outside the country’s ASF control zone.

Europe: New cases in Romania, Ukraine

A single pig has died as the result of ASF, according to the latest report from Romania’s veterinary authority to the OIE. The animal belonged to a smallholder in the southeastern county of Constanta, which borders Bulgaria.

After a brief absence, ASF appears to have returned to domestic pigs in two western regions of Ukraine. In April, three animals of a herd of 341 died at a farm in the Yampil district of Vinnitsia oblast, which borders the Republic of Moldova, and a backyard herd of 258 pigs was found to be infected with ASF in Ternopil oblast in early May after two of the animals died.

More outbreaks confirmed in European wild boars

Over the last week, six national veterinary authorities have reported outbreaks of ASF in wild boars in their respective countries to the OIE.

In terms of the number of outbreaks, the country worst affected was Hungary with 67 outbreaks, all occurring in April of 2019. These included two animals that tested positive for the virus for the first time in the county of Hajdu-Bihar, which is in the east of the country and borders Romania.

Poland’s animal health agency confirmed to the OIE 51 new outbreaks, all of which started in the first two weeks of March. In total, 94 wild boars were affected in the same regions — Masovia, Warmia-Masuria, Lublin, and Podlaskie — in the north and east of the country where previous cases have been recorded.

Belgium has reported a further 26 wild boars that have tested positive for the virus. As in previous cases, all were found in the province of Luxembourg in the south-east of the country.

With cases dating back to February, there were 21 newly confirmed outbreaks among the Romanian wild boar population in the east, southeast, and northwest of the country.

After what appears to be a brief absence, ASF has returned to Chernivitsi oblast in Ukraine. Three animals were found dead at the end of April in a district that borders Romania.

Three wild boars from different regions of Latvia tested positive for the ASF virus in the last week of April.

View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.

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