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U.K. notes 'general decrease' in new ASF cases in Eastern Europe

JanMiko/iStock/Thinkstock wild boars in snow
New cases of African swine fever still being found in domesticated pigs and wild boars, including in western Poland.

Since its last report on Nov. 26, the U.K.'s Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) noted Dec. 19 that there have been new outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in domesticated pigs and cases in wild boars in Eastern Europe.

In the Dec. 19 report, APHA said ASF-infected wild boars continue to be found in western Poland and are now 40 km away from the border with Germany. Farther south, there have been new reports of ASF in wild boars in southern Bulgaria, close to the border with North Macedonia, APHA said.

Even with those observations, APHA, which is part of the U.K.'s Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, noted that there "continues to be a general decrease in the number of outbreaks in domestic pigs and cases in wild boar in Eastern Europe. Since November, outbreaks in domestic pigs have only been observed in Romania, Russia and Ukraine."

The majority of these outbreaks involved piglets in backyard small holdings, APHA said, although there have been a few outbreaks in commercial holdings: three in Romania, one in Ukraine.

Poland and Hungary continue to report a high number of cases in wild boars, APHA said, noting that after the large jump west in Poland reported in its November update, almost 70 cases of ASF in wild boars have been reported in the surrounding area.

APHA concluded that its risk assessment for the entry of contaminated or infected products into the U.K. remains at "medium," and the risk of exposure to the U.K. pig population is still highly dependent on the level of biosecurity on individual pig premises but is also still considered to be low.

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