African swine fever, a challenge for pig production, how to deal with and live with this problem.

Afrička kuga svinja, izazov za svinjarsku proizvodnju kako se izboriti i živeti sa ovim problemom.

Monday, 18.09.2023. 13:00 - 14:00, Faculty of Agriculture Novi Sad,  Amphitheater

Ponedjeljak, 18.09.2023. 13:00 - 14:00, Poljoprivredni fakultet Novi Sad, Amfiteatar

Entry is free, registration is required
Ulaz je slobodan, registracija je neophodna


Dejan Beuković 

Faculty of Agriculture Novi Sad,  Directror depratment of animal scicences

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Saša Ostojic,
Veterinary Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture, R.  Serbia

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 Jovan Mirčeta
PE "Vojvodinašume, wildlife health care

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Dr. Jovan Mirčeta is employed at PE "Vojvodinašume", and is in charge of wildlife health care. His area of interest is veterinary epidemiology of large game with a special interest in the risk of pathogen spillover between farm animals and wildlife. He participates in the work of several working groups dealing with African Swine Fever, and field control of the spread of African Swine Fever in hunting grounds.

Dr. Jovan Mirčeta je zaposlen u JP “Vojvodinašume”, i zadužen je za zdravstvenu zaštitu divljači. Oblast interesovanja mu je veterinarska epidemiologija krupne divljači sa posebnim interesobanjem na rizik kruženja patogena između farmskih i divljih životinja. Učestvuje u radu više radnih grupa koji se bave afričkom kugom svinja, i terenskom suzbijanju širenja afričke kuge svinja u lovištu.

 Božidar Savić
Faculty of Agriculture Novi Sad, professor

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 Zoran Uzelac,
Delta Agrar, Farm manager

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Dr. Zoran Uzelac: was born in 1978 in Novi Sad, Serbia. After completing elementary school, he graduated from secondary agricultural school, veterinary technician, Futog. He graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture in Novi Sad, majoring in animal husbandry, in 2002 and postgraduate studies at the same faculty in 2006. He was appointed to the title of Doctor of Agricultural Sciences in 2008.

Since 2002, he has been employed in pig production, first in PIK Bečej, Bečej, and since 2006 in the company Delta Agrar, where he has worked as a technologist, farm manager, category manager of pig production, up to director of animal husbandry at Delta Agrar. While working, he also studied at the Bigholm Agricultural Academy, Modern Pig Management, in Denmark.

He is the author of three books in the field of pig farming, as well as the author and co-author of many scientific papers in this field.

dr Zoran Uzelac: rođen je 1978 u Novom Sadu, Srbija. Nakon završene osnovne škole, završio je srednju poljoprivrednu školu, veterinarski tehničar, Futog. Poljoprivredni fakultet u Novom Sadu, smer stočarstvo, završio je 2002 godine a postdiplomske studije na istom fakultetu 2006 godine. U zvanje Doktora Poljoprivrednih Nauka je imenovan 2008 godine. 

Od 2002 godine zaposlen je u svinjarskoj proizvodnji, najpre u PIK Bečej, Bečej a od 2006 godine u kompaniji Delta Agrar gde je radio na poslovima, tehnologa, rukovodioca farmi, category managera svinjarske proizvodnje do direktora stočarstva Delta Agrara. U toku rada, školovao se i na Bigholm Agricurtural Academy, Modern Pig Managment, u Danskoj.  

Autor je tri knjige iz oblasti svinjarstva kao i autor i koautor mnogih naučnih radova iz ove oblasti. 

African swine fever, a challenge for pig production, how to deal with and live with this problem.


African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs, with devastating consequences for the pork industry and biodiversity. First identified in Kenya in the early 1900s, ASF has since spread to various regions across the world, posing significant economic and ecological challenges. This essay explores the impact of ASF on the global stage, its transmission mechanisms, economic repercussions, and efforts to control its spread.

Transmission and Spread:

ASF is caused by the African swine fever virus (ASFV), which can be transmitted through direct contact with infected pigs, contaminated feed or equipment, and even through ticks that carry the virus. Unlike some other diseases, ASFV is remarkably resilient, capable of surviving in meat products, on fomites, and in the environment for extended periods. This robustness contributes to its rapid spread, as infected animals, people, or items can inadvertently carry the virus across borders.

Global Impact:

The global pork industry is a critical component of many economies, providing employment, food security, and export revenues. The emergence of ASF has led to significant economic losses due to reduced pork production, trade bans, and culling of infected herds. Countries heavily reliant on pork exports face substantial challenges, as trading partners impose restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. The economic strain ripples through the entire value chain, impacting farmers, processors, traders, and consumers alike.

Biodiversity and Ecological Concerns:

ASF's impact isn't limited to the economy; it also poses threats to biodiversity and ecosystem health. Wild boars, feral pigs, and other wildlife species can serve as reservoirs for the virus, maintaining its circulation even when domestic pig populations are culled. This creates a challenge for conservation efforts, as infected wildlife can transmit ASF to domestic pigs or other susceptible animals. The disease's spread threatens to disrupt ecological balances, impact natural ecosystems, and compromise the livelihoods of indigenous communities relying on hunting or wildlife-related tourism.

Control and Mitigation Efforts:

Efforts to control ASF span both containment and prevention strategies. Containment involves quarantine measures, culling infected animals, and implementing strict biosecurity protocols to prevent virus transmission. Preventive measures include raising awareness among pig farmers, enhancing international cooperation to share information and experiences, and investing in research to develop effective vaccines. The latter approach, however, is challenging due to the complex nature of ASFV and the lack of a commercially available vaccine.

ASF Timeline ins Europe

ASF reached Europe in 1957 when it was detected in a Portugal pig farm. Through rapid depopulation of more than 10,000 pigs, this outbreak was quickly controlled. Just three years later, in 1960, the disease reappeared in Portugal and rapidly spread to Spain and France.

ASF remained in Europe until 1995. ASF was re-introduced in Europe in 2007 through Georgia and spread relatively uncontrollably. It began its expansion to Eastern Europe, affecting Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation, followed by Ukraine and Belarus.

In 2014, ASF entered the European Union through Lithuania, Poland, Latvia and Estonia, followed by nine other European countries. By 2020, the threat grew closer to the EU's two largest pig producing countries – France and Germany. ASF has since been detected in Northern Italy and Germany. In Europe, both domestic pigs and wild boar have been infected. Wild boar played a significant role in the persistence of the virus throughout the continent.

In Serbia in 2019, first in the vicinity of Belgrade near Mladenovac. It appeared in the south of Serbia at the very beginning of 2020.

From July and August 2023, swine fever began to spread rapidly throughout Serbia. A particularly alarming situation arose when it began to spread to several municipalities in Srem, where a large number of pigs are traditionally raised compared to other regions in Serbia. For small producers who are in a more unenviable position compared to large farms in the implementation of preventive measures, the news seemed discouraging when the disease began to appear on large capacity farms with strict control measures.