Late last month, Romania’s Veterinary Authority confirmed the first detection of African Swine Fever (ASF) in a backyard herd of domestic pigs near the northwestern town of Satu-Mare, reports the Global Ag Information Network.

Although wild boars have been linked as a primary vector of the disease in the region, Romania’s Veterinary Authority suspects that contaminated Ukrainian products are the likely source of the Romanian detection, said Monica Dobrescu, author of the report. The location is only several kilometers from the border with both Hungary and Ukraine.

Seven pigs were confirmed to be affected, including a principal detection site and a secondary contact farm.

The Romanian Veterinary Authority took the following immediate actions:

· Collected samples for laboratory analysis
· Restricted movements restrictions on any infected holdings
· Culled infected animals and incinerated the remains
· Disinfected the pig barns, alleys, fenced perimeters, feeders, and any other potentially contaminated objects in the holding areas
· Surveyed all swine herd located within proximity of the detection site
· Established protection and surveillance in the vicinity around the detection site.

Wild boars have been the primary vector of the disease, since their cross-border movement is difficult to control.

“However, according to Romanian officials, preliminary investigations conducted by the Romanian Veterinary Authority suggest that contaminated animal products from Ukraine are the likely source of ASF in Romania,” the report said.

This first ASF detection has prompted the Romanian Swine Producers Association to request the Romanian Government to approve emergency measures under a draft ASF-related regulation, which would authorize the Romanian Government to take additional action, as well as provide additional funds if the virus spreads.

Romania is considering additional steps based on the experiences of neighboring countries, which have incurred considerable costs associated with incineration and disinfection efforts.

To date, only Russia has imposed ASF-based restrictions on live pigs and swine breeding product imports from Romania.