Europe

ASF found in northern Italy

Hygiene & Biosecurity

A wild boar carcass was found 120 north of the city of Milan and 800 km away from Germany.

Posted on Jan 10 ,09:48

ASF found in northern Italy

African swine fever continues to spread in the EU and Italy is the latest country to face the problems raised by an ASF outbreak. On January 7, authorities in the region of Piedmont have confirmed the disease in the wild boar population, with one animal dead after being infected with the virus. African swine fever is harmless to humans but often fatal to pigs, leading to financial losses for farmers. It originated in Africa before spreading to Europe and Asia and has killed hundreds of millions of pigs worldwide.
The discovery in Italy could be a blow to the country's meat producers as governments often block imports of pork products from countries where the disease has been found as a way to prevent transmission.
China and other pork buyers banned imports of German pork in September 2020 after the first case was confirmed in wild animals in Germany. The disease is also present in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, among the EU member states, and in Rusia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, the Republic of Moldova, in Asia, Africa and, for the last 6 months, in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The Piedmont regional government asked city mayors to stop hunting following the discovery. Wild boar can transmit the virus to other pigs.
The government also said it is raising its surveillance of wild boars and hog farms and increasing cleaning measures on farms as much as possible. "As in the case of the (COVID-19) pandemic, the African swine fever emergency must also be addressed by appealing to everyone's collaboration," said Piedmont's health deputy, Luigi Icardi, quoted by Reuters. "Piedmont health system is working alongside operators in the sector to prevent the circulation of the virus and protect swine farms." In China, the world's biggest pork producer, African swine fever destroyed half the hog herd within a year of being detected there in 2018.

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