Poland: ASF outbreaks no. 56-68

Thirteen new outbreaks of ASF in pig herds have recently been confirmed in eastern Poland, mostly in backyard farms, reaching the number of 68 outbreaks this year. The most difficult situation continuous in south-eastern part of the country, where vast majority of fresh infections is noted. The local authorities decided about intensified wild boar population reduction in the region.

kleine varkentjes met moeder in de stal

The Chief Veterinary Officer informed about the designation of new outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in pigs in the territory of the Republic of Poland. The outbreaks were confirmed in backyard farms in 2 provinces in the east of Poland: in Lubelskie province and in Warminsko-Mazurskie province and in one commercial farm in Warminsko-Mazurskie province. All outbreaks in Lubelskie province are located in a hazard area (blue zone, area defined in part III of the Annex to EC Decision 2014/709/EU), extended recently to cover the wider area of ASF infection in wild boars and in pigs. The new outbreaks in Warminsko-Mazurskie province are located in a restricted area (red zone, area defined in part II of the Annex to EC Decision 2014/709/EU), where ASF is noted in wild boar population, but close to the borders of a hazard area designated in that region.

map with new ASF outbreaks in Poland
©A.Galica

In 2020 ASF hits mostly backyard farms – out of 66 outbreaks with available information, 12 were found in commercial farms and 54 in small ones. As it can be seen on the map, Lubelskie province is affected the most, with 47 infections, out of total of 68 outbreaks.

As regards the wildlife, until 20 August 2020, 3036 cases were reported by the CVO, with 1085 ASF infected wild boars in Warminsko-Mazurskie province (north-east of the country), 741 in Lubuskie province (west of Poland) and 600 in Lubelskie province (east of Poland).

Intensified shooting of wild boars in Lubelskie province

The ASF epizootic situation in the Lubelskie province was discussed on 21 August 2020 by the Advisory Team for the Prevention and Combating African Swine Fever in the Lubelskie province. They aimed to outline a plan for further action to contain the spreading disease.

The occurrence of the disease on such a scale in the province was caused by many factors, as assessed by the Veterinary Service. The main reason is excessive pressure from the African Swine Fever virus from the natural environment, resulting from a higher than estimated wild boar population in the southern part of the Lubelskie province. Among the factors that had a large impact on the spread of the disease, and which had already been diagnosed, also the following should be mentioned: clusters of farms in small areas, the presence of the disease during intensive field works, the movement of people and agricultural equipment in connection with harvest in July and August.

In order to control the situation, there are two directions of activities at the regional level. As noted by the Lublin voivode Lech Sprawka, on the one hand, it is a recommendation of actions developed under the coordination of the deputy Chief Veterinary Officer with close cooperation of local governments where this problem occurred. In the longer term, the activities will concern sanitary culling of over 5,000 wild boars by 31 December 2020.

Due to the need for greater effectiveness of activities, cooperation with the Polish Hunting Association is required. There will also be joint actions with the Podkarpackie province. Additionally, as voivode Sprawka emphasized, the military, police and fire brigade will be involved in the fight against ASF. - We want to use in action three types of uniformed services with drones, primarily identifying places where wild boars are. On the other hand, they will facilitate the planning of activities related to the shooting - he said.

pig behind a fence
©A.Galica

Actions planned for pig farmers in Lubelskie province

- Joint coordinated action to reduce the wild boar population will provide a good perspective to fight ASF in 2021 - said the voivode Lech Sprawka. - We will intensify controls on farms, and an information campaign will be conducted. We want to convince farmers that we will not be able to manage without ASF biosecurity - emphasized the Lublin voivode.

Farmers from the Lubelskie province who have suffered losses as a result of African Swine Fever, as well as those who stop pig farming for a certain period of time, in order to reduce the spread of ASF, will receive compensation. However, only those who have followed the rules of biosecurity will be entitled to compensation.

Source: PL CVO