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Poland Making Progress on ASF Control

28 July 2015, at 12:00am

POLAND - Poland is beginning to keep African Swine Fever (ASF) under control although the veterinary services says it will take a long time to defeat it.

“We are managing to contain ASF in Poland in a small area near the border with Belarus; however a complete eradication of this disease is currently impossible," said Poland's Chief Veterinary Officer, Marek Pirsztuk.

"New cases are appearing, but they are near areas where the disease had already been detected earlier.”

Since its initial appearance in Poland in February 2014, ASF has been detected in seven communes which are within 25km from the border with Belarus, reports PolandRadio.

A biosecurity area for the region was announced in April to limit the spread of the disease. Of the 1,800 farms which rear pigs in the area, 255 have decided to stop in return for compensation.

Meanwhile a cull has seen the number of wild boars in the area reduced from 12,000 to 9,000, which is believed to be helping prevent the spread of the disease.

“If ASF from this region were to spread further, then this would have to be due to either human error resulting from ignorance or an act of bioterrorism,” Mr Pirsztuk said.

Meanwhile Professor Krzysztof Niemczuk, the Director of the National Veterinary Research Institute which tests samples for ASF, stated that the experiences gained from managing ASF could prove useful in future.

He explained that the Institute is working on a new diagnostic test which could be used directly at farms bypassing a laboratory, reducing the costs of such a procedure.

Professor Niemczuk estimated that it could take at least five years to fully develop this.

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