Russia’s food safety watchdog, known as Rosselkhoznadzor, highlighted two routes by which African Swine Fever may spread from Russia into Europe.
The virus, which is deadly for pigs and harmless for humans, may spread from Russia’s southern areas through Ukraine to Romania and Austria, Rosselkhoznadzor said on its website today. Another possible route is from Russia’s northwestern regions to Belarus, the Baltic states, Poland and Germany.
ASF has affected 308 Russian areas in 27 regions since 2007 and caused more than 540,000 hogs to be slaughtered, according to Rosselkhoznadzor data. Wild boars are seen as one of the main possible virus transmitters from Russia to Europe, according to the service, which said it’s “ready for international and regional cooperation” to combat the threat.
The disease has established a “firm foothold” in the Caucasus region, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said yesterday, noting that the recent first-ever detection of the disease in Ukraine represented a major warning.
As well as Ukraine, nearby countries like Moldova, Kazakhstan and Latvia, which have large pig populations raised on household or family farms, are “at high risk of disease introduction,” the FAO said.