African swine fever
Since the beginning of 2014, cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) have been detected in wild boar in the Eastern European countries Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Outbreaks have also been observed in domestic pig holdings, among them smallholdings, but also larger ones, e.g. one holding in Lithuania with approximately 20,000 animals. In the affected regions (see map, updated weekly), restriction measures for the control of Classical Swine Fever pursuant to EU regulations are in force.
As all initial outbreaks in these countries occurred in the vicinity of the Belorussian border, it is assumed that ASP was introduced into the Baltic States and Poland from Belarus. Russia has reported ASP cases repeatedly for several years. As no data are available, the situation in Belarus is hard to assess. Further cases have been reported from Ukraine.
An introduction into other countries of the European Union cannot be excluded. The virus could be spread further by incompletely cooked meat products (ham, salami etc.) and by transportation vehicles returning from affected regions. Particularly (illegal) feeding of food waste is a source of infection.
The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut has elaborated a risk assessment on the possible introduction of African Swine Fever which is updated as required based on the situation.
Recommendations for animal holders, hunters and veterinarians
In view of the current ASF situation in Europe particularly hunters are requested to report any increased occurrence of dead wildlife (wild boar) to the competent authorities and to send in samples (particularly blood, lymph nodes, spleen, lung) for investigation.
A simplified sampling method is described in the leaflet "Früherkennung der Afrikanischen Schweinepest bei Wildschweinen: Vereinfachtes Probennahmeverfahren für die passive Surveillance der ASP" (available in German language only; download right column on the German version of this webpage).