The Directorate of Veterinary Medicine of the Regional Unit of Kozani, informs professional pig farmers as well as breeders of domestic pigs, wild boar hunters and the consumer public of P.E. Kozani that in 20/01/2023 A case of African swine fever has been confirmed in a female wild boar in the PE of Serres ( Neo Petritsi, Municipality of Sintiki) and the "Emergency Response Plan to Combat African Swine Fever" was activated
African swine fever is a viral disease that affects pigs exclusively, with main symptoms high fever, bleeding on the skin, mucous membranes and internal organs, high contagiousness and mortality that touches the 100%, so it is clear that it is a serious risk for systematic pig farming and the Agricultural Economy as a whole, while according to National and Community Legislation, it is a notifiable disease but not transmissible to humans.
It is transmitted in many ways such as close contact of patients with healthy animals, through secretions from infected animals, with mechanical transporters such as ticks (ticks), by consuming contaminated feed and animal by-products and by mechanical means contaminated with the virus (equipment, clothing, vehicles). Wild boar populations play an important role in disease transmission, which are a potential reservoir of the virus in nature and which move uncontrollably and can spread the disease over long distances. The virus survives in the environment and on objects for long periods of time and is not easily inactivated, on the contrary it remains extremely resistant to low ambient temperatures.
The Veterinary Service draws attention to the owners of pig farms, those involved in the trade and trafficking of animals (slaughterhouse managers, breeders, traders/butchers) and breeders of domestic pigs to receive all appropriate biosecurity measures to prevent entry into the P.E. Kozani and the spread of the disease.
They must be particularly careful the owners of extensive farms and domestic pigs due to the increased possibility of their animals coming into contact with wildlife. A critical point is to avoid any contact of potentially infected wild boars with farmed pigs, with the existence of a suitable fence that will prevent any entry/exit of animals, stray and wild and especially the entry of wild boars.
It goes without saying that intensive closed farms must intensify biosecurity measures to the maximum extent. which include among others, strict control of the entry and exit of animals on the farm, avoiding unnecessary visits by people to the unit, proper fencing that prevents wild animals from entering, appropriate staff clothing, observance of personal hygiene rules, avoid buying feed from countries (eg Bulgaria) where the disease is endemic and thorough cleanings and disinfections of livestock and vehicles.
Special attention is required to show and the wild boar hunters, mainly in the proper management of game, placing great importance on the proper handling of offal or other wild boar offal (eg blood, skin, bones) so as to prevent their contact and consumption by any domestic or wild animal and in particular taking all appropriate biosecurity measures if wild boar hunters come into contact with domestic pigs.
Domestic pig breeders (pigs kept in yards) are obliged to declare the pigs and their breeding to the competent Veterinary Services, while the buying and selling of animals by illegal itinerant traders is strictly prohibited. It is pointed out that the possession and breeding of animals without a declaration to the competent Veterinary Services, incurs heavy penalties especially in cases of epizootics that threaten the systematic livestock breeding of our country.
Every citizen, organization or group that is active in the countryside and forests of P.E. Kozani (Farmers from Kozani with tractors, agricultural vehicles and a protest rally, hunting clubs, Wildlife and Forestry Services) must show increased vigilance and report to the Veterinary Service any incident of a dead or dying wild boar, finding a focus of dead animals or the existence of animals with the aforementioned clinical symptoms.
Finally, it should be noted that the disease only affects pigs (farmed and wild boars), it is not transmitted to humans in any way (eating meat or contact) and poses no risk to Public Health. It is, however, a serious threat with huge socio-economic implications, due to the potential heavy losses of livestock and the strict containment measures taken in the event of an outbreak.
All involved agencies and citizens must show the required attention, a spirit of cooperation with the local Veterinary authorities and increased vigilance so that any incident is investigated in time and in the event of an outbreak of the disease, appropriate measures are taken to avoid the spread of the disease.
The Head of Veterinary Medicine P.E. Kozani
Kozani Veterinary Office & Tsotiliou, Tel. 2461029023
Eordea Veterinary Office, Tel. 2463081656
Veterinary Office of Serbia Tel. 2464021587
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