Tue, 12 Jun 2018
Reports are emerging of a new outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in Tulcea, Romania - close to the Ukrainian border. The Pig Site has compiled a checklist of practical measures that can stop the virus in its tracks and keep your swine herd safe
With a continuous stream of ASF cases being identified in Europe in 2017 and early 2018, biosecurity measures have been heightened but outbreaks continue to occur.
The most recent report (Successful Farming) has emerged from Tulcea, Romania, where a herd of backyard pigs, close to the Ukrainian border, have been identified to be infected with the ASF virus, Asfarviridae. Two outbreaks were identified in Romania earlier this year. The last case reported in Europe was in Hungary.
The virus does not cause harm to humans or other animals, however, this does not mean that humans and other animals cannot spread the virus as carriers; ASF is commonly carried by arthropods, such as the soft-bodied tick, through uptake of blood from infected pigs.
Contamination generally occurs via direct contact with tissue and bodily fluids from infected or carrier pigs, including discharges from the nose, mouth, urine and faeces or infected semen. It also spreads through transport and consumption of contaminated pork products, and some cases have originated from failure to comply with biosecurity standards by feeding waste food to domestic pigs. It is believed that a highly pathogenic strain of ASF was introduced to domestic pigs and, subsequently, wild boar populations in the port of Poti, Georgia, in 2007 when waste food from a ship originating in South Africa was fed to local pigs.
This being the case for many outbreaks, it is important to maintain strict biosecurity controls on commercial, small-scale and backyard farms, whatever the herd size.
Borders and transportation
To learn more about African swine fever, visit The Pig Site Knowledge Centre
To check any signs you are worried about, head to The Pig Site Disease Problem Solver