Swine fever case found on Harju County farm

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Even one case of ASF spells the slaughter of an entire pig stock (picture is illustrative). Source: ERR

A case of African Swine Fever (ASF) has been found in a Harju County pig farm, following a reported case detected in a wild boar corpse earlier this week.

The outbreak was first reported to authorities Tuesday, BNS reports, and affects a farm run by OÜ Pijlaka Farm at Kiili, 20 km south of Tallinn.

Hele-Mai Sammel, deputy director general of the Agricultural and Food Board (Põllumajandus- ja Toiduamet) said: "The positive sample was detected during passive surveillance at OU Pihlaka Farm. All pigs kept on the farm will be killed due to the disease, as there is no cure for the disease."

The news follows reports that a dead wild boar was found around 5 km from the affected farm, whose corpse later tested positive for ASF.

ASF-infected wild boar were also found in Lääne-Viru County this month, after Estonia had been declared ASF-free at the beginning of the year, following an outbreak first detected last September. Prior to that, the country had posted no ASF cases for three years.

The Kiili farm has about 2,000 head of pigs, BNS reports. These will most likely have to be slaughtered regardless of whether they have contracted the virus. Current restrictions prohibit livestock being transported on- or off-site plus limits on the movement of people until the outbreak is contained, the Agricultural and Food Board says.

The board says it will clean and disinfect the premises, while compensation for slaughtered livestock can be applied for.

The affected farm has a 10-kilometer restricted zone around it, in which pig farming may not take place, though, Hele-Mai Sammel says, there are no established farms within the zone anyway.

ASF can be transmitted either via direct animal contact or via dissemination of contaminated food. It does not affect humans, but is usually deadly to domestic pigs and their wild cousins, and no vaccine has as yet been developed.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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