African swine fever confirmed in Saaremaa
A lab test has confirmed the presence of African swine fever (ASF) on a farm with over 2,700 pigs on the Western Estonian island of Saaremaa.
"Of course we were ready for the suspicion to be confirmed," said Estonian Veterinary and Food Board (VTA) Deputy Director General Olev Kalda. So far, ASF had not been detected on Estonia's western islands.
To prevent spread of the disease, the pigs will be killed and the building disinfected.
This is the sixth case of ASF the VTA has diagnosed after September 2015.
According to Kalda, the agency received information about an increased death rate on the farm on Monday evening, and as of Wednesday morning 48 pigs had died on the farm since the previous Friday. Samples were taken from live pigs as well as dead ones and a total of 21 samples tested positive for the disease.
The disease control zone established around the outbreak spot does not include any pig farms.
An epidemiological survey will be carried out to determine how the disease agent found its way to the farm.
"Saare and Hiiu Counties were thus far the only Estonian counties where the European Commission had not established any zones of control of the spread of ASF, but in light of this incident, necessary restrictions will be implemented," explained Kalda. "It is too early to speculate what restrictions will be implemented; that will be decided by the European Commission."