ASF detected on pig farm in western Poland, disease undermines Romanian pig sector

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Dariusz Banaszuk
© GettyImages/Dariusz Banaszuk

Related tags: ASF, Poland, Romania

A large pig farm in Poland has been exposed to African swine fever (ASF) in western Poland, where, prior to this incident, ASF had only been found in wild boar in that region.

The pigs tested positive for ASF at a holding in the Lubusz Voivodeship region, which is around 65 km from the German border, writes Pig World​.

Poland's Chief Veterinary Officer verified the outbreak​ on Monday, after tests carried out on March 20 confirmed ASF. The veterinary inspectorate has since put restrictions in place around the farm.

As a result of ASF being detected on site, some 23,746 pigs, including nearly 7,000 sows, were expected to be culled. The farm sold all its stock as piglets, and there were nearly 17,000 piglets on the farm at the time so the fear is that ASF has spread to other farms in that area, those that would have bought the piglets, according to the Pig World ​report.

ASF was detected in wild boar in November last year in the area where the farm in question is located. Since then, some 146 cases of ASF have been detected in wild boar in that region.

The Polish and German authorities, through enacting various measures, are working to ensure the disease does not spread beyond Poland's borders and into Germany.

ASF in Romania

Meanwhile, ASF continues to negatively affect both backyard and commercial hog holdings in Romania, finds the USDA in a new report.

The USDA reported there was a significant number of pigs culled in the country in the first part of 2020 because of ASF outbreaks confirmed in commercial farms.

However, the number of active ASF cases in Romania, as of early March 2020, was 528, roughly half of what it was a year earlier.

“While ASF remains a clear and present danger to Romania’s hog and pork industries, it is noteworthy that the number of year-on-year active cases dropped by about 50%.”

High pork prices in the European Union (EU) curbed pork meat and live-piglet imports in Romania during the latter half of 2019, noted the USDA.

And Romania’s swine inventory continued to decline in 2019. The lower swine numbers are largely due to ASF, which continued to spread and destabilize the hog production sector.

To date, Romanian authorities have culled nearly 600,000 pigs under its ASF eradication program, and the government has disbursed over US$100m from the national budget to compensate almost 15,000 pig owners for their losses.

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