The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its latest annual update on the presence of African swine fever (ASF) in the European Union. In 2019, the area of the European Union affected by ASF expanded progressively, moving southwest. During the period covered by the report—November 2018 to October 2019—the Czech Republic became officially ASF-free. However, the disease was confirmed in Slovakia, so there continue to be nine countries affected by ASF in the European Union.

The disease outbreak progression varies substantially among the EU Member States due to multiple influences, including the structure of domestic pig production (in particular, the proportion of backyard holdings), geographical conditions, and the characteristics of the wild boar population. Backyard (noncommercial) farms present specific challenges for an ASF eradication program, such as uncontrolled movements of pigs and people, poor biosecurity, and the identification of holdings. The report also includes information on the following:

  • Seasonal fluctuations in the detection of ASF-positive samples since the disease was first detected in the European Union
  • Measures applied by the affected Member States for controlling the spread of ASF in wild boars
  • The effectiveness of artificial or natural boundaries in controlling spread, with a particular focus on the combination of control measures that have been applied in Belgium
  • Epidemiological analyses of ASF in the European Union for the report’s period

Currently, there is no cure for ASF. Scientists have developed a vaccine that appears to be successful in early trials, however.

Press release

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