Update on African swine fever in the European Union



EFSA has published its latest annual report on the presence of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the European Union. During the period covered by the report - November 2018 until October 2019 - the Czech Republic was officially declared free of the disease. However, the presence of the disease has been confirmed in Slovakia and endorsing nine EU countries affected by the disease.


In 2019, the area affected by the PSA is gradually expanded, moving mainly in a south-west direction.


All stages of the epidemic now present in the EU are described in the report: a) areas recently affected due to an isolate case or to a geographical spreading out from the affected areas; b) areas affected in the spreading out phase; c) areas where PSA infection has been present for some time, including those where PSA appears to be dying out; d) and areas not affected.


The situation varies greatly from one Member State to another, a cause of many influences including the organization of the national pig production (in particular the percentage of family pig farms), the geographical conditions and the characteristics of the wild boar population.


Family farms (non-commercial) are difficult challenges for a ASF eradication program, such as the lack of control of the movements of pigs and people, their poor biosecurity and the difficulty of identifying the farms in question.


In addition, a case-control study was carried out in Romania with the aim of identifying the particular factors that contribute to the spread of the disease in non-commercial companies.


Furthermore, the report:

  • describes the seasonal fluctuations in the detection of ASF positive samples since the disease was first identified in the EU;
  • examines the measures applied by the Member States concerned to control the spread of ASF in wild boars;
  • assesses the effectiveness of artificial or natural boundaries in controlling dissemination, with particular attention to all the control measures implemented in Belgium (see figure);
  • based on the latest scientific and epidemiological data, assesses the management measures for wild boar populations in different geographical areas of the EU.


Source: EFSA


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