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African swine fever detected in domestic pigs in Saaremaa

A farm on which ASF was detected being placed under quarantine. Photo is illustrative.
A farm on which ASF was detected being placed under quarantine. Photo is illustrative. Source: (ERR)

The Food and Veterinary Board has diagnosed African swine fever (ASF) in pigs on a farm with 3,200 animals in the territory of the Orissaare rural municipality in Saaremaa.

The farm has been quarantined and the pigs will have to be killed, after which the buildings will be disinfected, spokespeople for the Food and Veterinary Board said on Tuesday.

As BNS reported, pigs started dying on Monday. Scientists from the Estonian Academy of Life Sciences examined the facility to find out how the infection found its way to the farm.

AS Vireen, a company specializing in biological waste disposal, will start killing the pigs on the farm and dispose of the carcasses in accordance with legal requirements on Wednesday.

There is one more pig farm within a radius of ten kilometers of the affected farm that belongs to the same owner. That farm is under increased scrutiny by officials, and checks will be carried out there shortly, BNS reported.

The affected farm was last examined by officials on June 7 and no shortcomings were detected then.

Harles Kaup, head of the department for animal health at the Veterinary and Food Board, said that reports of wild boar carcasses infected with ASF kept coming in every week. "The disease is still widespread in wild boar and now shows signs of abating," the official said, stressing the importance of preventing domestic pigs from contact with other domestic animals, wild boar, or potentially contaminated materials.

On Monday several cases of ASF were detected in domestic pigs in Lithuania and Poland. The disease has been diagnosed on 29 farms in Poland, and eight farms in Lithuania. In Latvia two cases of ASF in domestic pigs have been diagnosed this year.

Between the beginning of the year and the end of June 6, 519 wild boar in Estonia were tested for ASF. In the case of 556 of them the test outcome was positive. The respective numbers for Saaremaa were 1,974 and 203, making for a ratio of 10.3 percent, compared with a ratio of 7.8 percent for Estonia overall.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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