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African Swine Fever Confirmed in Lithuania

03 February 2014

LITHUANIA - African Swine Fever (ASF) has been confirmed in wild boar in Lithuania, the first case of the disease in the European Union.

Following two cases of ASF in wild boar in Lithuania, the European Commission has adopted a safeguard decision confirming the demarcation of the infected area where emergency restrictions apply.

These safeguard measures are coupled with the deployment of a team of experts from the Commission, the Community Veterinary Emergency Team and the EU Reference Laboratory for ASF who will support Lithuanian veterinary authorities to apply control measures and restrictions in that infected area. To limit the spread of the ASF virus following the cases, the Lithuanian authorities immediately applied restrictions, as required by EU legislation.

These restrictions include:

  • intensified surveillance of wild boars and pigs
  • sending samples to the EU Reference laboratory in Spain for more detailed analysis, and
  • keeping pigs isolated in their holding, unless authorised by the competent authority.

The dispatch of live pigs, pig semen, ova and embryos is banned and pig meat from the infected area covering six districts - Trakai, Šalcininkai, Lazdijai, Varena, Alytus and Druskininkai - cannot be dispatched out of the country.

The measures will be reviewed at a Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health on 6 and 7 February.

Lithuania's national reference laboratory confirmed on 24 January 2014 the infection on two wild boars in the south east of Lithuania close to the Belarussian border. A possible cause is the movement of infected wild boars coming from Belarus.

Guidelines for EU Member States on controlling ASF in wild boar and pigs were recently published by the Commission.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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