May 21, 2024

 

ASF outbreaks surge in 2023 across 14 EU Member States

 
 


In 2023, African swine fever (ASF) affected 14 EU Member States, leading to a significant increase in outbreaks among domestic swine, according to the latest annual epidemiological report published by the (European Food Safety Authority) EFSA.

 

The report reveals that 2023 witnessed the highest number of ASF outbreaks in domestic swine since 2014. Croatia and Romania accounted for 96% of these outbreaks, reporting a total of 1,929 cases.

 

Outbreaks among wild boar also saw a 10% rise compared to the previous year. Notably, the virus was detected for the first time in Sweden and Croatia and spread to new regions in Italy. Greece, after a two-year hiatus, reported new cases as well.

 

Conversely, Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia reported improvements in their epidemiological situations, with a decline in wild boar outbreaks.

 

EFSA experts emphasised the importance of passive surveillance, which involves the searching and testing of wild boar carcasses, overactive surveillance, which includes testing hunted wild boar. Detecting ASF through passive surveillance, particularly by noting clinical signs of the disease, remains crucial in domestic swine establishments. Farmers and veterinarians play a key role in reporting suspicious cases.

 

In October 2024, EFSA plans to issue a scientific opinion revising the risk factors associated with the emergence, spread, and persistence of the ASF virus in both wild boar and domestic swine populations. This guidance aims to aid risk managers in their continuous efforts to prevent, control, and eradicate the ASF virus.

 

-      European Food Safety Authority

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