Czech Republic detects 1st African swine fever case in 5 yrs

The Czech Republic confirmed its first case of African swine fever for the first time in almost five years and veterinarians were taking measures to prevent its spread, the Czech Ministry of Agriculture said on Friday.

The disease was detected in a dead wild piglet in Jindrichovice pod Smrkem in the northern Liberec Region near the border with Poland, according to the State Veterinary Administration (SVS). This is the first such case detection in the country since early 2018.

Authorities have delineated a zone of infection of approximately 200 square km around the location where the piglet was found.

Hunting of wild pigs will be temporarily prohibited, but the movement of the population in nature will be restricted and authorities will monitor the disease spread within the wild pig population.

“All the measures taken are primarily aimed at preventing the further spread of the disease in the wild pig population and preventing the disease from reaching domestic pig farms,” Petr Satran, director of the veterinary section of the SVS, said in a press release.

According to the SVS, African swine fever is an acute disease of pigs similar to classical swine fever, except that the disease has a very high mortality rate close to 100 percent. It is not transmissible to humans or other animal species.

The agriculture ministry also announced Friday that a new outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in a duck poultry farm in the country’s South Bohemian Region and authorities were taking steps to contain it.

The Czech Republic has had several bird flu outbreaks in the past years.

In January 2020, authorities detected the first outbreak in three years. The next month, another outbreak was found at a factory farm in the central Pardubice region that resulted in over 100,000 poultry having to be culled in order to contain a highly pathogenic substrain of H5N8.