According to the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS), after two cases of African swine fever were detected in Lithuania late in January, no more infected wild boars have been discovered so far. For this reason yesterday, on 19 May, the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) invited scientists from the Veterinary Academy of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LUHS) and Faculty of Natural Sciences of Vilnius University as well as specialists of Nature Research Centre, National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute (NFVRAI) to present their opinions on the currently applied measures and the new action plan to preclude the disease from spreading.
In the words of Ms Jūratė Buitkuvienė, Head of Serology Unit of the NFVRAI, testing results confirm that exemplary measures to rein in African swine fever have been applied as no virus of African swine fever has been detected in any of the tested 11 273 wild boar samples and 8 977 pig samples. The hunting of wild boars has reduced their population while the implementation of biosafety requirements in pig establishments has prevented the introduction of the virus into farms. This threat has also been reduced substantially by the measures encouraging the inhabitants to give up small-size pig farming. However, the most significant measure in the fight against African swine fever is the 10 km long fence at Varčia Forest, Alytus district restricting the movement of wild boars.
Scientists both on the global and national levels acknowledge that physical barriers limiting the areas for wild animal migration are among the most effective measures against the spread of infectious diseases.
Tuesday May 5, 2014/ Valstybinė maisto ir veterinarijos tarnyba/ Lithuania.