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RIGA, September 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The government of Latvia decided on Tuesday to expand the earlier introduced African swine fever (ASF) emergency state zone across regions bordering on Russia, Belarus and Estonia and to extend its in-force period, which was due to expire on October 1, until January 1, 2015.
On July 2, Latvia imposed a state of emergency and introduced an emergency zone over the ASF outbreaks in the eastern province of Latgale, which borders Russia and Belarus.
Under the state of emergency, veterinary inspectors have the right to inspect privately-owned farms in order to undertake the necessary measures against the disease. The state forestry service was obliged 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 100 wild boars and 72 farm-raised pigs. As of now, a total of 564 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 at a local farm.
ASF is a highly contagious notifiable disease in pigs caused by a virus. There is no vaccine against it and it can be stopped from spreading only through culling infected animals. The first African swine fever outbreak was registered in South Africa in 1903.