Poland introduces new ASF biosecurity measures

Pig producers in north-eastern Poland have been given until May 29 to comply with new biosecurity measures to protect commercial units against the continued spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) within the country’s feral pig population.

Poland’s National Veterinary Research Institute has also been tasked with developing a new method of testing for ASF, the first case of which was detected in Poland in February 2014. The total number of cases in feral pigs in Poland now stands a 58, with the most recent case being confirmed last week.

This prompted a high profile press conference, chaired by Polish farm minister Marek Sawicki (pictured), at which a biosecurity programme running through to 2018 was unveiled.

This features the introduction of new biosecurity requirements for farms in Podlaskie Voivodeship (north-eastern Poland), an area containing 2500 pigs spread over 350 farms. The new measures include the following highlighted points:

  • implement a monitoring programme and rodent control;
  • carry out periodic disinfestation treatments (from April to November each year);
  • keep a register of the transport of pigs and a register of people entering pig farming premises;
  • ensure that people who have contact with farm pigs don’t also maintain their own pigs;
  • secure holdings where outdoor pigs are kept behind a double fence, at least 1.5 m high.

National Veterinary Research Institute director, Krzysztof Niemczuk, told the press conference that, although the World Health Organisation said that Poland has been “acting effectively” in relation to ASF for the past year, he still believed it will “take time before we are free from this disease”.

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