Analysis of the ASF situation in Europe in 2023

Analysis of the ASF situation in Europe in 2023

04th May 2023 - News

Since its arrival in Europe, and given the possibility that it could reach Spain, African Swine Fever (ASF) seriously worries professionals in the pig sector, who fear the consequences that a single contagion could have on the entire sector. Thus, the disease is considered one of the main risks for the sector, since, on the one hand, for the moment, there is no vaccine to prevent it and, on the other hand, its effect on the market could be very important since positive zones cannot move or export hogs or meat.

Current situation

According to data from the European Animal Disease Notification System (ADIS), 121 cases of ASF in domestic pigs have already been confirmed in seven European countries this year, 21 fewer cases than during the same period in 2021. In wild boars, from January 2023 to mid-April, 3,296 positive cases of ASF have been registered in 16 European countries, 19% more than in the first four months of 2022, with Poland being the state with the most cases of ASF in wild boar during these months (184). Other countries with a high incidence of cases are Italy, where up to 92 cases have been detected, and Serbia, with 32 infected animals. In addition, Greece and the Czech Republic have registered new cases for the first time in years. On the other side of the coin, the impact of the disease has been reduced in Germany, and very slightly in Latvia, Hungary and Bulgaria.

peste porcina africana en europa

If we look further back, up to 7,511 outbreaks of African Swine Fever were detected in Europe throughout the year 2022. This is detailed in the report published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA), which analyzes the evolution of the disease. Of the total outbreaks detected in 2022, 7,137 were in wild boars, while 474 were found in domestic pigs. The figures presented in the report represent a 46% decrease in the number of outbreaks detected when compared to 2021.

If we analyze country by country, Poland and Germany were the countries where the most outbreaks were detected in wild boar, 2,113 and 1,600, respectively. Regarding domestic pigs, Romania was the country where the most outbreaks were detected, 327 specifically. On the other hand, Italy, which detected its first case at the beginning of 2022 in the Piedmont region, has increased its number of infected wild boars, reaching 269.

Farmers on alert

Although the disease has not reached Spain, farmers remain on high alert, since the detection of any ASF focus within our borders could mean the closure of pork exports to third countries, as well as the slaughter of thousands of heads. It should be remembered that the disease, in Europe, has led to the slaughter of 1.5 million pigs.

For these reasons, MAPA insists on the importance of applying the maximum biosecurity measures in exports and imports of pork and in animal transport, without forgetting the attention that people traveling to affected countries and who could unintentionally contribute to spreading the disease, should pay. 

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