The 1997-1998 epidemic of classical swine fever in the Netherlands

A. Stegeman, A. Elbers, H. de Smit, H. Moser, J. Smak, F. Pluimers

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    In 1997, the pig husbandry in the Netherlands was struck by a severe epidemic of classical swine fever (CSF). During this epidemic 429 CSF- infected herds were depopulated and ≃1300 herds were slaughtered pre- emptively. In addition millions of pigs of herds not CSF-infected were killed for welfare reasons (over crowding or overweight). In this paper, we describe the course of the epidemic and the measures that were taken to control it. The first outbreak was detected on 4 February 1997 in the pig dense south- eastern part of the Netherlands. We estimate that CSF virus (CSFV) had already been present in the country by that time for 5-7 weeks and that the virus had been introduced into ≃39 herds before the eradication campaign started. This campaign consisted of stamping-out infected herds, movement restrictions and efforts to diagnose infected herds as soon as possible. However, despite these measures the rate at which new outbreaks were detected continued to rise. The epidemic faded out only upon the implementation of additional measures such as rapid pre-emptive slaughter of herds in contact with or located near infected herds, increased hygienic measures, biweekly screening of all herds by veterinary practitioners, and reduction of the transportation movements for welfare reasons. The last infected herd was depopulated on 6 March 1998. (C) 2000 Elservier Science B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183-196
    JournalVeterinary Microbiology
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Classical swine fever
    • Epidemic
    • Netherlands
    • Review


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