The European Commission has decided to establish a restricted zone in Lithuania after the detection of African swine fever (ASF) in two wild boars.
Moreover, experts of the Commission, the Veterinary Emergency Team and the Union’s ASF reference laboratory will come to Lithuania to help the national veterinary authority apply surveillance measures and restrictions in the area concerned, the Commission said in a statement.
The Lithuanian State Food and Veterinary Service has immediately taken all measures required by the Union’s legislation in order to prevent the ASF virus from spreading. Those measures include active surveillance of wild boars and pigs, sending of samples to the Union’s ASF reference laboratory in Spain for more detailed tests, prohibition to move pigs from holdings except where authorised by the competent authority.
Transport of pigs from Lithuania and the dispatch of their semen, ova and embryos from the infected area (Trakai, Šalčininkai, Lazdijai, Varėna, Alytus and Druskininkai) as well as pork produced in that area has been banned.
Those measures will be discussed by the Union’s Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) on 6-7 February.
Lithuania’s national reference library on 24 January found African swine fever virus in two wild boars hunted near the boundary of the districts of Šalčininkai and Alytus-Varena. The authorities guess that the virus might have spread to the country due to the movement of infected wild boars from Belarus.
The Commission has recently issued guidelines to Member States on surveillance and control of African swine fever.