• Open Access

African swine fever


  • EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW)

  • Panel members: Charlotte Berg, Anette Bøtner, Howard Browman, Aline De Koeijer, Mariano Domingo, Christian Ducrot, Sandra Edwards, Christine Fourichon, Frank Koenen, Simon More, Mohan Raj, Liisa Sihvonen, Hans Spoolder, Jan Arend Stegeman, Hans-Hermann Thulke, Ivar Vågsholm, Antonio Velarde and Preben Willeberg
  • Correspondence: alpha@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on African swine fever–Luisa Arias Maria, Sandra Blome, Ana De La Torre, Vittorio Guberti, Claire Guinat, Sergei Khomenko, Frank Koenen, Iwona Markowska-Daniel, Giovanna Massei, András Nahlik, Mary Louise Penrith, Tomasz Podgorski, Carola Sauter-Louis, Hans-Hermann Thulke and José Manuel Vizcaino–for the preparatory work on this scientific output and hearing experts Olgirda Belova, Sandra Cellina, Linda Dombrovska, Carlos Fonseca, Dragan Gacic, Ulf Hohmann, Jiri Kamler, Maarjia Kristian, Karolin Lillemae, Nickolay Markov, Marius Masiulis, Anton Mezhnev, Andrea Monaco, Edvins Olsevskis, Janis Ozolins, Männil Peep, Radim Plhal, Boštjan Pokorny, Carme Rosell, Eugenijus Tijusas and EFSA staff members Andrea Baù, Alessandro Broglia, Sofie Dhollander, Andrey Gogin, Sanel Ramović and Matthew Watts for the support provided to this scientific output.
  • Adoption date: 23 June 2015
  • Published date: 14 July 2015
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2014-00897
  • On request from: European Commission


Since entering the eastern EU at the start of 2014, African swine fever (ASF) has spread locally in the wild boar population, independently of outbreaks in domestic pigs. No correlation between the density of the wild boar population and the case notification in an area has been observed. The source of virus introduction appeared to be the low biosecurity level in backyard farms; yet, direct contact between pigs and wild boar has not been reported. Potential wild boar management strategies aimed at controlling ASF were evaluated. First, the published literature was searched for evidence of changes in wild boar demography after implementing different management strategies. A reduction in a wild boar population of more than 60 % as a result of conventional hunting has not been documented in Europe. Secondly, during a consultation meeting, 30 experts identified different wild boar management tools to indirectly combat ASF spread. In the third step, an epidemiological simulation model was developed, to compare the effects of implementing individual or combinations of management tools to control ASF. The model demonstrated that measures such as attempts to reduce the wild boar populations more than 70 % would, in theory, be effective in controlling ASF, but in practice would impossible to be achieved in one hunting season. On the other hand, conventional management strategies, such as implementing a feeding ban or targeted hunting of females, can effectively prevent the spread of ASF in the control area only after multiple years of application. The model predicted that a combination of different tools, such as the exclusion of contact to carcasses and the intensification of conventional hunting, reducing reproduction in the following year by 30-40%, would be effective to stop the spread of ASF in wild boar.