- AFRICAN SWINE FEVER
- DEFRA: preliminary
- ASF leaflet
- AFRICAN SWINE FEVER
- UKRAINE: RECURRENCE, WILD SWINE
The very dangerous disease in pigs, African swine fever, has beenconfirmed
in Lithuania, as BNS has been informed by the Veterinary
Service. According to the office spokeswoman Jurgita Savickaite, the plague
was detected in an analyzed boar.
The chief veterinary officer, Jonas Milius, told RTL radio that the contamination
was found in the Salcininku and Varenos areas. According
to him, 2 boars were found infected on the border of Alytus [county]. He
expressed his view that penetration of the virus could be prevented
due to the tightening of bio-security measures for several months already.
He remarked that the movement of wild boars, throughout Europe, is difficult
Lithuania said Monday [27 Jan 2014] it plans a mass cull of its wild boars
due to an outbreak of African swine fever [ASF] after neighbours
banned pork imports from the Baltic EU state.
"The goal is to leave up to 10 percent of the current 60 000-strong
(wild boar) population to prevent the virus from spreading," said Jurgita
Savickaite, spokeswoman for the Food and Veterinary Service.
Non-EU neighbours Russia and Belarus banned pork products from Lithuania
that are not processed thermally after the virus was detected in the country
last week, she told news sources.
Lithuania's government is expected on Wednesday [29 Jan 2014] to officially
declare a state of emergency in regions bordering Belarus,
which it claims was the source of the virus.
All wild boars hunted in these regions, all close to EU neighbour Poland,
will be incinerated if tests show they carry the virus, which is harmless
to humans but lethal to pigs and has no known cure.
Lithuania also imposed a temporary ban on the shipping of live pigs out
of the affected areas, fearing the virus could spread to local farms.
Interior Minister Dailis Alfonsas Barakauskas said the government will also
turn to the EU Commission asking to finance a fence along
Belarus' border to prevent the movement of boars.
Castleview Pedigree English Longhorns
52385 Nideggen, Germany
[The introduction of ASF into Lithuania, with the potential of continuing
its spread, was, in fact, written on the wall, since ASF spread throughout
the western parts of the Russian Federation. ASF introduction into an EU
Member State necessitates intra-community measures to prevent its further
spread. The updated measures to be applied in such a scenario have been
included in the recently (14 Jan 2014) published EC working document SANCO/7138/2013,
titled: "Guidelines on surveillance and control of African swine fever
in feral pigs and preventive measures for pig holdings;" see
- An extremely challenging
situation with ASF.
I believe that this will likely be a very interesting exercise to observe
and learn from.
Reduction or removal of susceptible feral or wild animal populations for
disease control purposes is never, ever, as simple as it appears on paper.
Wild boar are an intelligent, socially-responsive animal species that is
likely to adapt rapidly (and probably quite variably) to reduction/removal
pressures, so any culling activities will inevitably need to be applied
very early in the regional disease epidemiology and then be very carefully
managed and coordinated to ensure that the population reduction/removal
pressures do not foster spread of disease as animals respond to the pressures
The season may also need to be a critical consideration availability
of food supplies and seasonal conditions can have quite profound impacts
upon the capacity of wild animals to move naturally and artificially in
response to pressures being applied to them such as habitat modification
or population reduction/removal.
These were certainly critical lessons learned a world away in Australia
during its campaign to eradicate bovine tuberculosis [Btb] when dealing
with feral Asiatic water buffalo in the far north -- another socially responsive
animal species with certain adaptive intelligence, but perhaps not quite
on the same level as wild boar/pigs in that regard. Perhaps also relevant
that BTb in the prevailing context was a vastly less contact-contagious
disease with no insect vector-borne aspects compared to [African swine fever]
ASF in European continental wild boar.
Dr David Thomson
General Manager Operations
National Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA)
Papua New Guinea
- "The goal is
to leave up to 10 percent of the current 60 000-strong (wild boar) population
to prevent the virus from spreading,"
said Jurgita Savickaite, spokeswoman for the Food and Veterinary Service."
This strategy has practically no chance of success. To my awareness, no
one, anywhere, has ever succeeded in even temporarily eradicating
90 percent of any sort of wild or feral pig population from a mainland habitat.
Many US states have been attempting feral pig eradication for
decades with no hint of success; the likelihood that Lithuania could succeed,
with a fraction of the resources, in a habitat where boar are
native and therefore well-adapted to the climate, is slim and none.
As ProMED-mail moderator AS pointed out on 17 Oct 2013 [ProMED-mail archive
no 20131017.2007522], "The main drawback in dealing with this viral
disease, worldwide, is the absence of a vaccine.
Renewed/enhanced efforts to address this issue deserve priority."
A baited vaccine, bio-engineered to be air-dropped like Raboral, is really
the only approach likely to have any success.
Next best would be to deploy a contraceptive product specific to pigs, such
as the USDA-developed Gonacon.
Trying to hunt or poison wild or feral pigs just makes warier pigs.And,
since pigs are cannibalistic, they are often their own most significant
natural predator, so killing adult pigs (especially boars) may accomplish
little more than ensuring that more piglets survive to maturity.
Editor, Animal People
PO Box 960
Clinton, WA 98236