VARSOVIE, Poland – The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) confirmed that African Swine Fever (ASF) broke out in Poland on a farm with more than 8,000 pigs.

The OIE received the information from Pawel Niemczuk,DVM, chief veterinary officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, POL Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The intergovernmental organization reported 61 dead pigs which lead to the culling of about 7,950 more this week.

Poland is taking the following biosecurity measures, according to OIE report: surveillance within contaminant and/or protection zone, movement control inside Poland, screening, traceability, quarantine, screening, disinfection and official disposal of carcasses, byproducts and waste.

During 2018, more than 1,450 cases of ASF in wild boars were reported in Poland. Then in late October the US Dept. of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Service (APHIS) lifted restrictions on imports of some fresh and frozen pork from Poland due to ASF. The agency determined that it would import any meat that was in the contiguous free zone.

ASF is harmless to humans, but deadly to swine. The virus is transmissible via contaminated animal feed, premises, vehicles, equipment and clothing. Warthogs can be a reservoir for the virus and show no clinical signs of infection. Biting flies and ticks can transmit the disease by taking blood meals from an infected animal and passing on the virus to other susceptible animals. Pigs can become infected through direct contact with infected pigs, and garbage containing unprocessed infected pig meat also are vectors for transmission.