African swine fever found at Võru County farm, 116 pigs to be slaughtered

Pig. Photo is illustrative.
Pig. Photo is illustrative. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

Estonia's Agriculture and Food Board (PTA) has confirmed the presence of African swine fever (ASF) at a farm with 116 pigs in Rõuge Municipality, Võru County; all of the pigs at the affected farm will be euthanized.

The PTA was first notified of illness among the farm's pigs and the suspicion of ASF on Wednesday, July 19, the board announced.

"The lab results confirming the presence of the ASF [virus] came in today," said Inge Saavo, director of the PTA's Southern Region. "All pigs at the farm will be euthanized due to [ASF], as the disease lacks a cure."

She added that no other pig farms are located within the ten-kilometer restricted zone surrounding the affected farm.

Following the euthanization of the pigs, the PTA will organize a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the farm's premises; following this process and a specific waiting period, it will be possible to reintroduce pigs to the farm. Compensation can be sought for the euthanized pigs.

ASF is not infectious to either other animal species or to humans, however, they have the potential to be carriers of the virus. The virus is transmitted via infected animals, but can also be transmitted via contaminated vehicles, clothing, footwear, equipment, etc., if they are not disinfected.

The latest outbreak of ASF in domestic pigs in Estonia was detected in July 2021, in Harju County; some 2,000 pigs owned by OÜ Pihlaka Farm were euthanized as a result.

The latest case of ASF in a wild boar was confirmed in early February in Lääne-Viru County.

Late last month, ASF antibodies were detected in a total of three wild boar hunted in Võru County's Setomaa and Võru municipalities.

To the south, Latvia has issued seven announcements this week regarding wild boars testing positive for the ASF virus in regions bordering Võru County. The closest of these infected wild boars was identified approximately 15 kilometers away from the current outbreak.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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