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Sweden Restricts Vast Area After African Swine Fever Discovered


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The viral disease poses no danger to humans, but can be devastating to pig farms.

On Thursday, the Swedish Board of Agriculture annouced that an 800-square km restricted zone is set to be imposed in central Sweden after the country’s first case of African swine fever was discovered in the area.

Access to the forest in the area around the small town of Fagersta will be prohibited, and people will not be allowed to leave the roads to hunt or forage for mushrooms and berries. However, the area will not be evacuated.

The decision was taken immediately after African swine fever was detected in one of seven wild boars that have been found dead in the area since late August. The viral disease poses no danger to humans, but can be devastating to pig farms.

By restricting access to the forest, authorities hope to minimize the risk that the virus could spread on boots, tools, and vehicles. 

Since the virus can also be spread by dogs, owners will have to keep their pets on a leash to prevent them from venturing into the forest.

“The restrictions will remain for months, and possibly longer,” said Erika Chenais, an associate professor at the Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA).

The disease has been present in the European Union (EU) since 2014, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

“Over the last decade, African swine fever has had a dramatic impact on the pig farming sector in the EU, and continues to disrupt local and regional economies,” EFSA Director Bernhard Url said, adding that the disease was found in pigs in eight EU countries, and in wild boar in 11 EU countries.

Source: teleSURtv

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