There is no classical swine fever in domestic pigs in Hungary

pppThere have been different opinions about the presence of African swine fever in Hungary, and many domestic pigs are probably suspected of being alive and moving, although the situation is much more nuanced. Even if there are others who want to spread something else. It is a big business in the meat industry and has a lot of interests in it…

African swine fever (ASP) virus has been detected by five dead wild boar in the fenced-off hunting area of ​​Budakeszi Forestry, a laboratory of the National Food Chain Safety Authority (Nebih). Veterinary experts immediately began to implement the necessary measures on the instructions of the national chief veterinarian. The epidemiological investigation will explain how the infection appears.

In the past few days, wild boar has been reported to be dead in the fenced hunting area of ​​Budakeszi Forestry. In parallel with the commencement of the investigations, the Chief Veterinary Officer ordered an increased search for wild boar carcasses in the affected area and a sampling of the shot wild. Dozens of samples were received at the Nebih laboratory, five of which were tested for the presence of the ASP virus.

Following the finding of the ASP, the National Veterinarian ordered the removal of the feral pig population in the fenced-off part of the wildlife fence and, as in previous cases, the necessary measures. These include, inter alia, the delimitation of the infected area and, within that, the strictly limited area of ​​importance for epidemiological control.

The epidemiological investigation will explain how the infection appears. The most likely option at present is human transmission, as the virus is only present in wild boars in our country far from the affected area. In recent weeks, there have been several foreign nationals coming from countries that are heavily infected with ASP, but of course they have also been able to spread the disease from domestic infected regions. The virus can also be spread by hikers, so Nebih requests that, if possible, they do not visit the affected area. In general, it is important that visitors do not leave food waste in the forests, and that shoes and boots are thoroughly cleaned and, if possible, washed after the hike.

ASP disease is still confirmed to be present only in wild boar in Hungary – the Nebih emphasized our interest. It was explained at the office that due to the high risk of the disease, the veterinary service is examining all possible solutions to prevent the spread of the disease.

Accordingly, as has been the case in several EU Member States affected by ASP, the benefits, disadvantages, risks, consequences and opportunities of eradicating / eradicating backyard pig farming in infected areas have also been assessed in Hungary. All possible solutions to prevent the infection of domestic swine herds have been considered, as all measures require serious preparation. The goal is to protect the Hungarian pig sector, its export of national importance, and thus the existence of nearly 300,000 people working in the sector, said Nebih.

It was pointed out at the office that surveys in the infected area showed that the smallest backyard protection conditions were the least, although their existence was crucial to preventing the spread of the disease. These farms therefore represent the greatest risk. This also coincides with the experience of other ASP countries. At the same time, the closure of backyard stocks is typically insufficient. Despite repeated warnings, the feeding of animal by-products / slurries is still a major threat, according to international epidemiological experience. Experts are constantly monitoring and monitoring the disease situation and taking action accordingly. Even on the slightest suspicion, they can be ordered to kill herds, as has happened recently. So far, according to Nebih, about 5,300 domestic pigs have been suspected to have been killed for strict prevention. However, the laboratory tests did not show the presence of the virus in these cases either. However, healthy, asymptomatic, healthy herds are not being killed at this time – stressed Nebih.

As pointed out, eradicating / eradicating backyard pig farming in infected areas is one of the most effective preventive measures to prevent the spread of ASP. However, this would not mean immediate killing of the stocks concerned, but rather a longer process. Where a decision is taken to implement this, the farmer shall be informed in good time by the authority to ensure proper preparation. However, further details are worth discussing only if such a plan becomes a measure to be implemented, he added. It was stressed that the control measures against ASP are the result of a continuous risk assessment based solely on professional veterinary issues and the timing of their implementation is not a political issue.

For a long time, the veterinary authority has been increasingly communicating the disease risks and important information to those affected. For example, through leaflets, distribution of disinfectants, advertisements in local and national media, press releases, and on the ASP sub-site of the Nebih website within each area. Up-to-date and up-to-date information and information will continue to be available primarily through these channels and interfaces.

If any symptoms appear on the animals, the veterinary authority will consider locally whether to kill the domestic pig, said Lajos Bognár, the national chief veterinarian at ATV Start. In essence, this means that the veterinary authority is forced to eradicate the herd if it suspects that domestic swine have also been exposed to ASP. But this is not an emergency, the chief veterinarian stressed. The disease has symptoms that can be confused with other diseases. The pet becomes suspicious for the pet if fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea or skin bleeding is observed. It is worth paying attention to individually, but if they appear together, you should call a veterinarian, he added.

If someone kept the animals in an epidemiological sense, they could receive one hundred percent compensation for the killing. The most important thing is to register the herd and at the same time to keep the livestock closed. Meanwhile, the epidemiological situation is constantly changing as the disease is spreading among wild boars. The measures under the supervision of a group of experts will change accordingly. At the end of July, the Chief Veterinary Officer’s decision 2/2019 on the plan to eradicate ASP in Hungary was published. The new eradication plan and the review of each measure were required due to the changes in the epidemic situation and the proposals received from the European Commission on the basis of the European epidemic situation and experience.

Thus, ASP is present only in wild boar and is typically found in the northern counties (Heves, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, Nógrád) and more recently in Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county. The Nebih website has a list of settlements – more than 800 currently – that are considered to be infected with wild boar cases. These are subject to special regulations, which primarily affect hunters.

At the same time, the epidemic has been unprecedented in scale and severity in the ASP’s history for almost a hundred years, starting with the Caucasus in Russia’s European territory, Ukraine and the Baltic states, as we learned from Nebih. It has been recalled that the risk of the emergence of ASP in Central Europe and the vulnerability of the Hungarian pig population has increased significantly in recent years. ASP causes major economic damage because once it is introduced into countries / regions free of the disease, it can only be eradicated through strict administrative / law enforcement measures and at significant cost. Infected flocks, and in most cases all pigs in contact with flocks, must be killed and the carcasses of the animals disposed of in such a way as to prevent the spread of infection. The holding of the pigs which have been eliminated must be re-disinfected. Trade and buying-in of pigs are restricted at regional or national level and exports of live pigs, pigmeat and pigmeat and semi-finished products are not permitted.

As a result of the epidemic, pigs in Asia have been slaughtered in the order of hundreds of millions, and therefore the price of live pigs has already risen significantly in the leading foreign markets, including Hungary. However, the prices of meat products did not follow the increase in the cost of raw materials. All of this puts many domestic slaughterhouses and meat processing plants in a difficult situation in Hungary. Which have been forced to import pork for some time, as domestic pigs are not enough for the country. According to the CSO, there were 2.84 million pigs in Hungary on June 1, 2019, while according to the NAIK Agricultural Economics Research Institute (AKI), only 2 million 290 thousand pigs were slaughtered in Hungarian slaughterhouses in the first half of this year. The latter is 2.8 percent less than in January-June 2018.

And within this year’s first half slaughter, sow slaughter has increased from 44.7 thousand in the first half of last year, up 15.7 percent to 51.7 thousand in the first half of 2018, which predicts a further decline in the herd. In July 2019, the producer price of domestic slaughter pigs, excluding VAT and transport costs, was HUF 576 per kilogram, which was an increase of 23 percent compared to the average price a year earlier. In July 2019, the processor sales price of cut pork (pork chops, thighs, thighs) increased by 26 percent compared to the same month in 2018. According to CSO data, the consumer price of short-cut loin rose by 10 per cent and pork leg by 16 per cent over the same period.

ASP is a viral disease of domestic pigs and wild boars with acute febrile symptoms and general bleeding. It is not the same as classical swine fever. Not dangerous to humans, but infected pigs are practically incurable. It is characteristic of the pathogen virus that it is resistant to environmental influences for months in non-heat-treated, highly untreated products or in untreated pig or wild boar. The virus can be transmitted in two ways: naturally by wild boar and by food waste. This cannot be prevented by the authority and is therefore communicated to tourists so that no food waste is discarded and no food waste is fed to the pigs.