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90% of African swine fever pestholes are private farms - Russian agriculture minister

July 26, 2013, 18:29 UTC+3
By now, about 7,500 pigs have been culled to stop the spread of the disease
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Photo ITAR-TASS / Valery Matytsin

Photo ITAR-TASS / Valery Matytsin

YEKATERINBURG, July 26 (Itar-Tass) - About 90 percent of African swine fever pestholes are private farm households, which have no sanitary rules, Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov said on Friday. The problem, in his words, is very serious.

“We are taking all necessary measures to prevent epizootic threats,” he said. “Thus, we have elaborated a new normative base regulating animal management at private households. We need rules to be observed. And there will be such rules. We have adopted such rules, we have toughened them and will continue this work. The bulk of responsibility as concerns veterinary security rests with regional authorities. But experience proves that this is not a regional-level issue, it is a problem of national security. One and even several governors will not be able to cope with this problem. Wild boars - African swine fever transmitters, or murrain, or locust recognize no administrative borders between regions. That is why the problem should be addresses by the federal authorities but not regional bodies, as the situation is now. This competence should be brought back to the federal level.”

An African swine fever outbreak has been registered in a number of districts of Russia’s southern Volgograd region. By now, about 7,500 pigs have been culled to stop the spread of the disease. More than 32 million roubles have already been paid to keepers of culled pigs.

African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious notifiable disease of pigs caused by a virus. The disease may occur in acute, sub-acute or chronic forms. The acute form causes severe disease from which the majority of affected pigs die. African swine fever can be spread through direct contact with infected pigs, faeces or body fluids; indirect contact via fomites such as equipment, vehicles or people who work with pigs between pig farms with ineffective biosecurity; pigs eating infected pig meat or meat products; biological vectors - ticks of the species Ornithodoros. There is no vaccine against African swine fever, which can be stopped from spreading only through culling infected animals. The first Arfican swine fever outbreak was registered in South Africa in 1903.

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