After several dozen cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Tulcea County (Romania) among backyard holdings over the past three weeks, the Romanian Veterinary Authority confirmed on June 28, 2018, that ASF also reached a commercial swine farm located in the same county. The Global Agricultural Information Network sent a report on the situation on Monday.
First Outbreak in a Large Farm
This marks the first outbreak in a Romanian commercial swine farm since ASF was first detected in a northeastern Romania in backyard holding in August 2017. Once the virus was confirmed, the local authorities applied immediate measures as per Romania’s ASF Contingency Plan, which included strengthening biosecurity measures and designation of the surveillance and protection areas.
Eight check points were established to prevent the disease from spreading outside the county. Two days after the virus was confirmed, the Veterinary Authority announced that the farm’s entire swine herd of nearly 45,000 pigs would be culled and their carcasses destroyed to limit the infection. Fortunately, financial compensation is provided to the owners. This represents about one percent of Romania’s total swine inventory, which was estimated at 4.4 million head in December 2017.
Pigs Were Euthanized
Several mobile incinerators of large capacity were brought to Tulcea County to perform this action. Two EU experts also worked with Romanian authorities to carry out the complex process with specific advice.
Once depopulated, the hog barns will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The epidemiologic investigation regarding the source of infection in the commercial farm is underway and samples will be collected from the affected farm during the culling process.
ASF is a significant threat across Romania, but especially in the counties sharing the same border with already infected Ukraine and Moldova Republic. Although wild boars are often blamed as the source of transmission, the human factor (contaminated meat, shoes, clothes, tires, etc.) appears to be equally important when assessing ASF risk for Romania.