Poland confirms new case of African swine fever in farm pigs

Poland confirms new case of African swine fever in farm pigs
Inspectors Vija Ritina (L) and Igors Jermakovs walk to process a check on a farm in the Rezekne region July 4, 2014. Latvia declared a state of emergency in the eastern part of the country, near its border with Belarus and Russia to fight, an outbreak of African swine fever in some wild boars and domestic pigs.

WARSAW - Polish authorities have identified a second case of African swine fever, lethal for farm pigs and boars but not dangerous to humans, the chief veterinary office said in a statement.

The infected pig, put down by veterinarians, was found in the county of Grodek in northeastern Poland, near the border with Belarus.

This is the same area where last month the first case of swine fever in Poland among farm pigs was found and where 12 cases have been identified in wild boars so far this year.

The cases among wild boars led Russia and China to restrict imports of Polish pork, causing domestic pork prices to drop.

The ban is now a moot point, since Russia has banned most food imports from the European Union -including pork in retaliation for Western sanction over Russia's actions in Ukraine. "The disease area is around 13 kilometres north of the farm where the last ASF case was identified," the statement from the chief veterinary said. "The whole farm has been cleaned and disinfected." This case was found at a farm with just one pig. The first case was identified in a farm with five pigs. Two of them died and the remaining three were put down, with the chief veterinary adding that about 200 farm pigs from the danger zone of 7 km (4.3 miles) may have to be put down.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, no effective vaccine against ASF exists, but the disease poses no danger to human health.

Earlier this month, Ukraine introduced restrictions on the import of pigs and pork products from nine countries, including Poland.

Last month, Lithuanian authorities ordered the slaughter of 19,400 pigs at one of the country's largest farms as an outbreak of ASF in the region spread.

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