Case of African swine fever reported in northern Italy

A case of African swine fever has been detected in a wild boar in Italy, news agency ANSA said Friday, raising fears of a blow to the country’s meat industry.

Highly transmissible and fatal for pig populations, the viral disease does not present a risk for , but poses serious repercussions for .

Italy is home to 8.9 million pigs, according to the national statistics office.

ANSA said the case was detected after tests on the carcass of a wild boar in Ovada in the northern Piedmont region.

The regional research body reported to have carried out the tests could not be reached for confirmation after hours Friday.

African swine fever has existed in Africa for decades.

In Italy, it has been endemic on the island of Sardinia since first appearing in 1978.

The disease spread to China—the world’s largest pork producer—in 2018, causing millions of pigs to be slaughtered to prevent an epidemic.

In western Europe, the virus was reported in Belgium in 2018, prompting China to ban all imports of Belgian pork.

After Germany confirmed its first case in a dead in 2020, China, Japan and South Korea, alongside Brazil and Argentina, also suspended German pork imports.

ANSA said the case had been referred to Italy’s health ministry, which in turn would notify the World Organization for Animal Health and the European Commission.

Other countries in Europe to have reported cases include Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldavia, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, according to France’s agriculture ministry.

German farm to cull 4,000 pigs after swine fever detected

© 2022 AFP

Case of African swine fever reported in northern Italy (2022, January 7)
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