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Deadly African swine fever heading towards Sweden

“African swine fever can cause very high mortality among wild boar, which can cause major negative consequences for the hunting industry and game farming in Sweden,” says Anna Malmsten, a lawyer at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in a statement.

By – Brünnhilde

During recent years, the disease has rapidly spread in Europe and is now within Sweden’s vicinity. Wild boar in the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Russia have demonstrated signs of infection. It has led the EU to act and to call on Member States to make strong efforts to limit the spread.

If African swine fever is spread to Sweden, it will almost certainly mean that the infection will inevitably be established in wild boars or domestic pigs. This would have major consequences for Swedish food exports, especially for the Swedish pig industry.

When hunting for wild boar, there is a risk that the infection will be transmitted through the remains, blood and body fluids on clothes and hunting gear. Hunters are therefore advised to be careful about the hygiene and washing of footwear, clothes and gear, especially when hunting in other countries where the infection is present.

If a hunting dog has been involved, the fur should be washed carefully before going home. Meat and untreated hunting trophies can carry a contagious risk, and both hunters and forest owners are advised not to throw food residue into the forest.

“If you are on a hunt in an affected area, it is better if you can leave the car at home and instead, for example, rent another in its place,” advises Anna Malmsten.

All types of pork products that have not been heated sufficiently during manufacture can continue to carry on viruses. Examples of such products include cold-smoked sausages and dried ham. Therefore, the public is advised not to leave or throw such food leftovers to prevent wild boars or pigs accessing them.

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Read more: From  2018/04/14

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