The number of outbreaks of African swine fever in pigs and cases reported in wild boar in the European Union fell considerably in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to a new report published today by the European Food Safety Authority. The disease was notified in eight EU countries in pigs and 11 EU countries in wild boar.
"Over the last decade, African swine fever has had a dramatic impact on the pig farming sector in the EU and continues to disrupt local and regional economies. While our latest report shows encouraging signs that efforts to halt the spread of the virus may be taking effect, the picture across the EU is by no means universally positive and we must remain vigilant. Farmers, hunters and vets have a particularly important role to play in reporting suspicious cases," said Bernhard Url, EFSA's executive director.
In 2022, ASF outbreaks among domestic pigs in the EU decreased by 79% compared to 2021. The decrease was particularly marked in Romania, Poland and Bulgaria. Lithuania, on the contrary, registered a slight increase caused by a cluster of outbreaks notified in summer in the south-western part of the country.
Eight EU countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) and four non-EU neighbouring countries (Moldova, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine) reported outbreaks in domestic pigs. Romania was the most affected EU country with 327 outbreaks, representing 87% of the total EU outbreaks. Serbia was the most affected non-EU country of those included in the report, with 107 outbreaks. ASF was notified for the first time in North Macedonia.
Regarding wild boar, 40% fewer cases were reported in the EU during 2022 compared to 2021. This is the first decrease of ASF cases in wild boar in the area since its introduction in 2014. Eleven EU Member States (Czechia, Estonia and Hungary in addition to the member states with outbreaks among domestic pigs) and four non-EU countries (Moldova, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine) notified ASF cases in wild boar.
To support the continuing efforts to control the spread of the virus, EFSA is extending its StopASF campaign in 2023. The campaign raises awareness among farmers, hunters and veterinarians in the EU and surrounding countries about how to detect, prevent and report ASF.
Now in its fourth year, EFSA's StopASF campaign encourages commercial and backyard farmers, veterinarians, and hunters to 'detect, prevent, report' ASF cases. The campaign relies on the assistance of local farmers' groups. It is run in partnership with local authorities in18 countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.