Fresh case of swine fever in Slovakia as eastern Europe scrambles to contain disease

Access to the comments Comments
By Marina Jenkins  & Ioannis Karagiorgas
Fresh case of swine fever in Slovakia as eastern Europe scrambles to contain disease

A fresh case of African Swine Fever (ASF) has been discovered in Slovakia in a village near the Hungarian border. 

The farm, in Košice province, had just four pigs but all of the pigs in a three-kilometre radius of the outbreak were culled. 

It was found approximately five kilometres from the initial outbreak, which occurred two weeks ago.

Slovakian authorises say they will establish protection and surveillance zones in a bid to prevent further spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, nearly 130,000 pigs have been slaughtered in Bulgaria.

Three hundred cases were reported in Romania in July and Bulgarian veterinary authorities said that wild boars swimming from Romania and across the Danube into Bulgaria were responsible for spreading the disease.

But the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, has blamed Romanian tourists to the country for helping to spread the disease. 

"I’m sure Romanian tourists brought the plague," he said. "They eat on the roads and throw away the waste [of meat]. Then birds and wild pigs pass by and eat the waste.

“After that, we go and clean. 57,000 cars pass daily on the Thrakiya highway every day. 700 vehicles leave Bulgaria on Friday night. There is nothing we can do. People grow rich and travel."

These outbreaks of swine fever could be a danger to Europe’s pork industry. Greece has already banned pork imports from Bulgaria and stepped up checks on the border.

Romania’s pork producers are accusing authorities of failing to implement preventative measures in full, branding the issue a "political disease".

The European Commission has issued a decision singling out Bulgaria, Poland and Lithuania as new high-risk areas.

So far, no cases have been seen in western Europe.

More on this subject

Pork industry at risk as swine fever hits farms across Eastern Europe

Sow row as Bulgaria accuses Romanian tourists over African Swine Fever

Journalist • Marina Jenkins