The latest updating of measures to prevent African swine fever (AFS) spreading across Europe has been approved by the EU.
Signed off by European Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg (pictured), the updating ensures that the EU’s core prevention and control measures, based on legislation dating from June 2002, reflects the latest regionalisation requirements as demanded by the discovery of recent AFS cases. Current prevention and control regionalisation therefore now applies in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Noting that since the beginning of August 2014, several new outbreaks in domestic pigs have been reported near the Latvian border with third countries, as well as near the border with Estonia, the European Commission (EC) commented that cases in feral pigs in Latvia were in areas “currently outside” the scope of previous control measures.
The EC then added that the “evolution of the current epidemiological situation should be considered in the assessment of the risk represented by the animal health situation in Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and in neighbouring third countries”. Such action was necessary to “prevent the spread of ASF” as well as to “prevent any unnecessary disturbance to trade” within the EU, avoiding the imposition of “unjustified barriers to trade” by third countries.
As a result, it was stated, animal health control measures should be amended to take into account the current animal health situation as regards ASF in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and in neighbouring third countries.