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Serbia reports four suspected outbreaks of African swine fever

Author Radomir Ralev
Serbia reports four suspected outbreaks of African swine fever Author: The Pug Father. Licence: Creative Commons.

BELGRADE (Serbia), August 13 (SeeNews) - Serbia has reported four suspected outbreaks of African swine fever among backyard pigs, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said.

The cases were detected in a total of seven pigs in the villages of Velika Krsna, Rabrovac-Sume and Kusadak, about 60 km south of Belgrade, in the period between July 30 and August 7, OIE said on Monday, citing a report of Serbia's agriculture ministry.

All pigs with suspected African swine fever infection had died, while a further 114 pigs susceptible to the disease in the three villages were culled and disposed of, OIE said.

The source of the outbreak is unknown or inconclusive, the organisation noted.

As a result, Serbia's neighbours Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Montenegro have banned the imports of pork from the country, Serbian news agency Tanjug reported on Tuesday, quoting sources from the country's agriculture ministry.

"We are awaiting the findings of the competent reference laboratory of the European Union in Madrid," Tanjug quoted the sources as saying.

Serbia's eastern neighbour Bulgaria has confirmed outbreaks of African swine fever in a total of six industrial pig farms in the country since July. The total number of outbreaks registered in the country is 30, while the reported cases of African swine fever in wild boars are 27, according to data published by the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency.

Romania, a neighbour of both Serbia and Bulgaria, suffered a nationwide African swine fever pandemic which prompted the slaughter of most farm pigs. Serbia's northern neighbour Hungary also confirmed African swine fever outbreaks in 2018.

The African swine fever virus does not cause disease in humans but has high mortality rates in domestic pigs. The disease, which also affects wild boars, has been spreading in Eastern Europe in recent years.