African swine fever (ASF) has struck Slovakia for the first time on a backyard farm in a village near the Hungarian border.
"This is the very first case of ASF diagnosed in Slovakia," Jozef Bires, director-general of the State Veterinary and Food Administration, told AFP, adding that it occurred just 470 metres (yards) from the Hungarian border.
The disease was discovered on a farm with four pigs in Košice province, close to the border of Hungary and Ukraine, countries that have both confirmed ASF in earlier years. Hundreds of wild boar in Hungary have also been diagnosed with ASF this year, AFP reported.
All pigs within three kilometers of the outbreak will be culled, Slovakian authorities said, adding that they will establish a three-kilometer protection zone and a 10-kilometer surveillance zone.
According to Pig Progress, since ASF entered Eastern Europe in 2007, the virus has been able to find a way into Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Hungary and Belgium.
Only the Czech Republic kept ASF outbreaks under control and was declared free of ASF again earlier this year. Recent outbreaks in Bulgaria and Poland indicate less hope in keeping this disease from spreading.
For more information on the spread of ASF around the globe, read porkbusiness.com/ASF.
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