African swine fever 'slowly spreading in EU

15 Feb 2020

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By Josh Loeb

African swine fever (ASF) is spreading in the EU, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has concluded in a new report.

In a report, published earlier this month, EFSA stated that ASF-affected areas in the EU are ‘progressively expanding’.

The disease is currently ‘spreading’, albeit ‘slowly,’ within the bloc, EFSA’s analysis concludes.

The finding is significant because the European Commission has previously stopped short of acknowledging that the virus is spreading inside of the EU. It has previously said only that the virus is ‘present’ in the EU.

Areas of the EU affected by ASF are ‘essentially contiguous, except for isolated introductions in Czechia [the Czech Republic] (now resolved), western Poland and Belgium,’ EFSA’s report highlighted.

It went on to add: ‘Backyard farms present particular challenges in an ASF eradication programme, including uncontrolled movements of pigs and people, poor biosecurity and the identification of holdings.