ASF Reported in Czech Republic
As you will have heard, there have been cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) reported in dead wild boar in the Czech Republic. These are the first reports of ASF in that country. Control measures including 10KM control zones have been put in place. Confirmation of ASF in wild boar in the Czech Republic is concerning as it represents a significant geographic jump into a new region. The source of infection has not yet been confirmed, but generally when the disease appears for the first time at this distance from previously affected areas, it may be more likely to be due to illegal movements or feeding on contaminated products.
Despite these cases, due to the low level of trade with the Czech Republic, the risk of ASF introduction to the UK remains classified as very low. The recent updates on ASF in the Czech republic and Eastern Europe from APHA’s International Disease Monitoring Team on these links are worth reading:
John Carr has kindly provided the Pig Veterinary Society with images of domestic pigs affected with ASF (some confirmed, some suspect and culled as labelled) in an affected country in the region. You can view these in the PVS gallery (members miust be logged in to view these).
Please bring the ASF situation in Eastern Europe to the attention of your pig-keeping clients to emphasise the need to minimise the risks of introduction of ASF, and other exotic diseases, to their pigs. Key amongst actions is preventing feeding of kitchen waste to their pigs: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/apha-warns-not-to-feed-kitchen-scraps-to-farm-animals-because-of-disease-risk and reviewing biosecurity measures to address any weak areas. Ensuring that staff do not attend other pigs, and staff and visitors wear clothing and boots dedicated to the farm and do not bring meat or meat products onto the farm is vital.
Early detection of suspect notifiable disease and prompt reporting to APHA field services is essential and there is more information about ASF on these links: