Swine fever spreads toward Western Estonia
A wild boar hunted in Vigala Parish, Rapla County, was discovered on Wednesday to have been infected with African swine fever, marking the spread of the virus into western parts of the country.
According to Olev Kalda, deputy director general of the Estonian Veterinary and Food Board (VFB), swine fever is currently widespread in wild boar populations, and the Vigala Parish location in which an infected boar was found makes for the 28th area in Estonia in which swine flu has been detected.
No pig farms are located within a 200 square kilometer, or 77 square mile, area surrounding the location in which the infected boar was hunted.
Kalda stated that new cases of swine fever are being detected every week, hinting at the current outbreak gaining momentum in the country's forests. "Thus all yet-uninfected regions in Lääne County, large parts of Pärnu and Harju Counties and the islands are at great risk," he noted.
According to the VFB official, it is pig farmers who are responsible for the prevention of swine fever's spread from the forests to the country's pig farms, noting that the VFB was strictly monitoring whether they were adhering to all imposed requirements.
In order to help prevent further spread of the disease, efforts must continue to be made to reduce wild boar populations as well as eliminate infectious carcasses from the wild, added Kalda.
By the beginning of 2016, wild boars were found infected with African swine fever in 26 areas across much of the country. On June 30, the 27th was added to the list with the diagnosis of a wild boar hunted in Harju County's Jõelähtme Parish.
African swine flu has been diagnosed in 900 wild boars either hunted or found dead in 2016.
A map of infected areas with number of cases per infected parish can be seen here.