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African swine fever returns to Greece

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First case of ASF was found at a backyard farm in the northern part of the country in February 2020.

Authorities in Greece have confirmed the presence of African swine fever in a wild boar near the northern border with Bulgaria. The World Organisation for Animal Health announced Monday the virus was found in a dead female wild boar on Jan. 18 in the Petritsio Municipal Unit of the Municipality of Sintiki Serres.

According to the Swine Disease Global Surveillance Report, Greece detected its first case of ASF at a backyard farm in the northern part of the country in February 2020. The infected finishing farm was confirmed positive near the town Serres, in the province Kentriki Makedonia, a region of northern Greece close to the border with Bulgaria (37.3 miles) and North Macedonia. The farm had 32 pigs, of which one pig had died of ASF.

At that time, Greece was expecting an ASF outbreak and had stepped up surveillance, ahead of confirmation of the virus in the country. According to the WOAH, the last ASF occurence in Greece was on April 15, 2020.

All veterinary services in Greece's Ministry of Rural Development and Food as well as local veterinary authorities of P.E. Serres will be utilized. The agency also plans to take all necessary measures to deal with the disease in accordance with community and national legislation. 

This includes activation of the National Center for Disease Control and the National Task Force on African Swine Fever, demarcation of the contaminated area, measures on pig farms located within the demarcated contaminated area and intensive passive surveillance of wild boars and domestic pigs within the demarcated infected area.

Greece produces about a third of its domestic pork consumption and imports the rest. In 2017, the country had about 744,000 pigs, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.

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