Classical Swine Fever

Classical Swine Fever

Diagnosis, notification and Health Situation

Classical swine fever is a notifiable disease, according to Council Directive 82/894/EEC of 21 December 1982 on the notification of animal diseases within the Community.

Please refer to the Animal Disease Notification System for a description of the notification system and the latest health situation table.

The CSF Diagnostic Manual is laid down in Commission Decision 2002/106/EC of 1 February 2002 approving a Diagnostic Manual establishing diagnostic procedures, sampling methods and criteria for evaluation of the laboratory tests for the confirmation of classical swine fever as amended by Commission Decision 2002/359/EC. The Community Reference Laboratory for CSF is Institute of Virology, Hannover Veterinary School, Buenteweg 17, D-30559 Hannover, Germany.

Preventive and control measures

EU legislation to control CSF is laid down in Council Directive 2001/89/EC (Corrigendum) of 23 October 2001 on Community measures for the control of classical swine fever as amended by ACT of 2004 and Commission Decision 2006/911/EC.

In case of an outbreak of CSF in domestic pigs or when cases occur in wild boar, further protection measures can be adopted by the Commission.

Member States have to draw up a contingency plan in order to be prepared in the event of outbreaks of CSF. These plans are approved by the Commission (Corrigendum) - Commission Decision 2000/113/EC - Commission Decision 2004/431/EC + corrigendum .

Emergency vaccination against classical swine fever can be used for the control of CSF in the event of outbreaks. The main criteria and risk factors to be considered for the decision to apply emergency vaccination in pig holdings are listed in Annex VI of Directive 2001/89/EC. In order to respond quickly, the Community has purchased 1.000.000 doses of live attenuated CSF vaccine and made arrangements for keeping it in stock and making it rapidly available in case of an emergency vaccination of domestic pigs (Commission Decision 2007/682/EC).

Emergency vaccination of domestic pigs has been conducted during the past two years only in Romania Commission Decision 2006/802/EC.

Control measures related to the presence of CSF in feral pigs (wild boar)

CSF is still present in some wild boar populations in some Member States. In order to prevent the spread of the disease to other areas of the Community, Decision 2008/855/EC of 3 November 2008 concerning animal health control measures relating to classical swine fever in certain EU countries was adopted.

Decision 2008/855/EC establishes disease control measures in areas where CSF is present in feral pigs. According to the different epidemiological situations three distinct risk categories of lists of areas are set up in the Annex of the Decision. In Part I of the Annex areas are listed where the epidemiological situation is the most favourable and therefore by way of derogation from the general ban live pigs may be dispatched to other restricted areas, subject to certain safeguard measures. Additionally, fresh pigmeat from holdings located in those areas, and meat preparations and meat products consisting of, or containing meat of those pigs may be dispatched to other EU countries. In this category are all affected areas from Germany, France, Hungary and Slovakia.

In part II of the Annex areas are listed where the epidemiological situation is less favourable due to sporadic CSF outbreaks. From these areas no live pigs but fresh pigmeat from holdings considered to be safe, and meat preparations and meat products consisting of, or containing meat of those pigs may be dispatched to other EU countries subject to certain additional safeguard measures. In this category is only the whole territory of Bulgaria.

Part III of the Annex is foreseen for areas where the epidemiological situation is most unfavourable: neither live pigs nor fresh pigmeat and meat products may in general be dispatched to other EU countries. However, such pigmeat preparations and meat products consisting of, or containing pigmeat may be dispatched to other EU countries if they are treated in such a way that any classical swine fever virus present is destroyed (mitigating measures). Special conditions are the marking of these products with special marks and the certification requirement. At present there is no area listed in these part of the Annex.

In addition document SANCO/7032/2010 (Rev 4) contains Guidelines on surveillance/monitoring, control and eradication of classical swine fever in wild boar. It provides guidance to the Member States as regards different options for controlling the disease, including vaccination of wild boar and hunting measures. These guidelines are based on:


Description of the disease

Classical swine fever (CSF) is a highly contagious viral disease of swine (pigs and wild boar) which can spread via trade in live pigs, fresh pig meat and certain meat-based products.

Transmission takes place through direct contact between animals (secretions, excretions, semen, blood) or indirect contact through vehicles, clothes, instruments, needles, insufficiently cooked waste food fed to pigs; it can also be spread by pig traders and farm visitors. Transplacental infection leading to persistently infected offspring can also take place.

Sources for the virus are blood and all tissues, secretions and excretions of sick and dead animals. Congenitally infected piglets may be persistently viraemic and may shed the virus for months. Spread from infected wild boar to domestic pigs and vice versa has taken place on several occasions in the past in some areas of Europe.

Prevention can be achieved through effective communication between veterinary authorities, veterinary practitioners and pig farmers, effective disease reporting and animal identification system, a strict import control of live pigs, fresh and cured meat, prohibition of feeding pigs with waste food and virological and serological surveillance.

In case of outbreaks in the EU, one needs to resort to the slaughtering of all pigs in the infected farms and the destruction of cadavers. A protection zone (3 km radius) and surveillance zone (10 km radius) are established around each outbreak, with restrictions on pig movements. An epidemiological investigation with the tracing of the source of infection and the possible spread is carried out. If appropriate, emergency vaccination can also be used. Additional ad hoc protection measures may be adopted by the Commission.