African swine fever continues spreading in Latvia

African swine fever has already been detected in 851 wild boar this year, up 20% from last year in the same period. The disease has also reached eight domestic pig holdings this year, with a total of 269 pigs eliminated, Latvian Radio reported on November 6.

Mārtiņš Seržants, head of the animal infectious diseases Surveillance Division of the Food and Veterinary Service, said that as the wild boar population increased, the prevalence of African swine fever began to increase significantly again two years ago, and currently the disease is also actively spreading in Vidzeme region.

“We have record numbers again this year. As of last Friday, there were 851 [African swine fever] virus-positive cases. Vidzeme is on fire - Valmiera, Limbaži towards Cēsis and Sigulda. Also Alūksne, Gulbene and Madona to Jēkabpils, almost all the way to the Lithuanian border.

“These are two large areas that are moving towards areas that were untouched so far, but there is no place where any [domestic] pig farmer can be quite safe and ignore restrictions and biosecurity measures,” Seržants noted.

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