No African swine fever detected in tame sounder of wild boar

15.9.2014

<p>In tests conducted by the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, no African swine fever was detected in a sounder of wild boar moving in Eastern Finland. The exceptionally tame group of wild boar, which was roaming in the village of Niska-Pietilä in Rautjärvi close to the Russian border, was culled on Friday, 5 September 2014. All of the animals seemed healthy but, due to disease surveillance, samples of one of the animals were sent to Evira for testing for the presence of African swine fever.&nbsp;</p>

African swine fever (ASF) is a serious and highly contagious animal viral disease affecting both pigs and wild boar. African swine fever is not passed on to humans.No cases of the disease have ever been detected in Finland.

The spread of African swine fever would pose a great threat for pig farming. Therefore, preventative disease protection on pig farms and providing information to risk groups, such as to overseas pig farm workers and Finnish hunters travelling to risk areas, play a key role in the prevention of the spread of the disease.

Two cases of the disease detected in Estonia

This year, African swine fever has spread in the nearby areas of Finland, for example, in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. In Estonia, the disease was detected for the first time in early September in the municipality of Valga close to the Latvian border. Another case was confirmed in the municipality of Viljandi about 25 kilometres from the first location.Both of the cases in Estonia were detected in wild boar carcasses found in the buffer zone, which has been established due to the occurrences in Latvia.

Hunters can send samples to Evira

In Finland, the disease is being monitored by studying samples taken from production pigs, farmed wild boar and feral wild boar. Feral wild boar have been tested for African swine fever since 2010.

Hunters can take part in the swine disease study by sending us blood and tissue samples taken from feral wild boar. If a wild boar is suspected to be infected or a wild boar carcass is found, please contact the municipal veterinarian.

Wild boar hunters can request for sampling supplies from the Finnish Wildlife Agency’s regional offices in South-East Finland and North Karelia.

Additional information:
Laura London, Senior Researcher, Veterinary Virology Research Unit (viral diseases in pigs), tel.+358 50 570 2916
Sirpa Kiviruusu, Senior Inspector, Head of Section, Animal Health and Welfare Unit (supervision of animal diseases), tel. +358 400 920 503
Marja Isomursu, Researcher, Production Animal and Wildlife Health Research Unit (sampling), tel.+358 40 512 1248, office +358 29 530 4924

Further reading:
Do not bring African swine fever to Finland 
Instructions for taking and sending samples (in Finnish)

 

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