African swine fever detected in Viljandi, Saare Counties

Wild boar in Estonia.
Wild boar in Estonia. Source: Aimar Rakko/Environment Agency

The Veterinary and Food Board (VTA) has detected African swine fever (ASF) in samples taken from two wild boar hunted in Viljandi and Saare Counties.

"I am officially diagnosing African swine fever based on the results of testing done on a sample taken from a wild boar killed in the village of Laane in Viljandi County's Põhja-Sakala Municipality," a decision signed by Terje Oper, director of the VTA's Western Region. Oper signed a similar decision regarding a wild boar killed in the village of Sauvere on the island of Saaremaa.

The decision regarding the wild boar killed in Viljandi County was made on Oct. 31; the second decision, regarding the boar killed in Saare County, was made on Nov. 5.

VTA senior specialist Velta Riisalo explained to ERR on Wednesday that in the case of the boar hunted in Viljandi County, ASF antibodies were found in the sample; the boar may not have actually been ill. "This shows that it had come in contact with the virus, but was not necessarily ill itself. But it could have infected others as well as fallen ill itself."

The boar in question was an older sow, she added.

Oper told ERR the same, adding that antibodies were likewise found in the boar killed in Saare County

"Wild boars are hunted year round, but it has picked up and will pick up even further once it snows," she said. Nonetheless, she confirmed that ASF has been detected in very few animals, and there is no cause for concern.

In 2014, several cases of ASF were diagnosed in the neighboring Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The first case of ASF was diagnosed in a wild boar in Estonia on Sept. 8, 2014; the first cases of the virus infecting domestic pigs were diagnosed on July 21, 2015.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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