The outbreak follows a similar incident in February, which prompted Polish officials to declare a buffer zone along the Belarusian border. This confines pigs to an enclosed area and bans pork exports.
In January, Russia restricted supplies of live swine and pork from the European Union following an outbreak of African swine fever within its borders. Sites of contagion inside the bloc are Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly contagious notifiable disease of pigs caused by a virus. The disease may occur in acute, sub-acute or chronic forms. The acute form causes severe disease from which the majority of affected pigs die. African Swine Fever can be spread through direct contact with infected pigs, faeces or body fluids; indirect contact via fomites such as equipment, vehicles or people who work with pigs between pig farms with ineffective biosecurity; pigs eating infected pig meat or meat products; biological vectors - ticks of the species Ornithodoros. There is no vaccine against African Swine Fever, which can be stopped from spreading only through culling infected animals. The first African Swine Fever outbreak was registered in South Africa in 1903.