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Latvia expands emergency state zone over African swine fever outbreaks

July 23, 2014, 5:58 UTC+3 RIGA
On July 2, Latvia imposed a state of emergency over ASF outbreaks in the eastern province of Latgale which borders Russia and Belarus
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RIGA, July 23, 5:19 /ITAR-TASS/. Latvia has expanded African swine fever (ASF) emergency state zone across all regions bordering Russia and Estonia, according to a government resolution passed on Tuesday.

On July 2, Latvia imposed a state of emergency over ASF outbreaks in the eastern province of Latgale which borders Russia and Belarus. It will be in force toll October 1.

While the state of emergency is in force, veterinary inspectors will have the authority to enter privately-owned farms to take necessary measures against this disease. Control will be toughened over transportation vehicles on these territories. The state forestry service was obliged to make an inventory of wild boars and to regulate wild boar hunting. The government promised compensation to households suffering losses from ASF outbreaks.

According to the latest data of the Latvian Food and Veterinary Service, African swine fever viruses have been found in 26 wild boars and 19 domestic pigs. By now, as many as 185 pigs have been culled.

African swine fever outbreak was first registered in Latvia in late June in a district bordering Ukraine. The virus was found in three wild boars and later in three pigs in a local farm. All infected animals were culled.

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. ASF 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 ASF outbreak was registered in South Africa in 1903.

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