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Russian deputy PN urges for prompt measures to stop African swine fever

January 12, 2012, 13:55 UTC+3

Zubkov also dwelled on the problem of poor financing of diagnostic and preventive measures

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MOSCOW, January 12 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov has urged the ministry of agriculture to take prompt measures to stop the spread of African swine fever.

“The ministry’s efforts are not enough,” he said at a meeting of the agrarian commission. In his words, at the request of Russian regions, the government took a number of measures already in 2011 but the situation is still very serious.

Zubkov cited a document issued by the Russian Audit Chamber in November 2011, which pointed to the fact that the country’s ministry of agriculture had failed to enact quarantine regulations. More to it, the ministry failed to enforce anti-swine fever instructions to supersede those of 1965.

The Audit Chamber, Zubkov said, also drew attention to the lack of a new edition of the law On Veterinary and amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences toughening punishment for violations of veterinary safety rules.

The Audit Chamber also expressed concern over the spread of the hazardous disease in Russia’s north-western, central and Volga regions, along with southern regions. African swine fever outbreaks are currently reported both from small private households and from big industrial-type farms. “Another outbreak has been reported from the Industrialny swine-breeding farm in the Krasnodar territory,” Zubkov made an example.

Zubkov also dwelled on the problem of poor financing of diagnostic and preventive measures. Only 34 million roubles have been allocated to fund such measures in the past four years, while the federal budget provides for eight billion roubles to finance anti-epizootic measures.

According to Zubkov, all this endangers the entire swine-breeding sector.

“Tokenistic approach to this highly dangerous animal disease is inadmissible,” he stressed.

A swine fever outbreak was registered at the Industrialny swine-breeding farm located in a Timashevsk suburb on January 7. In all, the far has 38,000 pigs that are to be slaughtered. An ad hoc headquarters has been set up to control the situation.

About 18,000 pigs have already been slaughtered at the farm. Measures are taken to cleanse and disinfect the premises. The Krasnodar territorial prosecutor’s office has launched a check over the swine fever outbreak.

Meanwhile, following the African swine fever outbreak, Krasnodar police have formed special teams to keep an eye on meat shops in order not to let them sell pork from the Timashevsk district, where about 40,000 infected pigs are to be slaughtered. Such teams are tasked to check documents to trace the origin of pork meat on sale. Apart from that, police will inspect bazaars and outlets located along highways. Police are also authorized to check motor cars, since farmers often practice selling meat right from their cars.

On Wednesday, Governor of Russia’s southern Krasnodar territory Alexander Tkachev demanded resignation of local sanitary and veterinary officials whose negligence resulted in the outbreak of African swine fever. He also promised to help honest farmers compensate their losses.

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