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Russia’s third largest meat producer reports African swine fever outbreak

A quarantine has been introduced in the area, which has a cattle population of 22,000 swine

MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Russia’s third largest meat producer Miratorg reported an outbreak of African swine fever in the Belgorod Region, the company’s spokesman told TASS on Friday.

Miratorg is the country’s largest pork and beef producer.

"I can verify the information on the African swine fever outbreak," the spokesman said, responding to the corresponding question.

The company has set up a crisis headquarters and a quarantine has been introduced in the area, which has a cattle population of 22,000 swine, to thwart the virus’s further spread," the company’s statement says.

"We have repeatedly stated that the situation with the spread of the African swine fever is difficult and outbreaks on the production sites were only a matter of time. Despite extraordinary measures to ensure the bio-safety of our pig-breeding farms, Miratorg has become the next pork producer that suffered because of the virtual absence in Russia of a monitoring system for the observance of veterinary norms in personal part-time farms, and the uncontrolled movement of cattle and potentially infected products," Miratorg President Viktor Linnik was quoted by the company as saying.

If the diagnosis is confirmed, all the cattle on the breeding site will be destroyed and Miratorg has already notified insurance companies of this development and launched damage assessment procedures under the existing contract, the company said.

An African swine fever outbreak was earlier registered at one of the 24 sites of the Rusagro agribusiness in the Belgorod Region.

African swine fever is a viral disease affecting wild boars and domestic pigs. In its acute form, the virus kills 100% of any infected cattle. It withstands high temperatures well and remains for a long time in the carcasses of animals and in the soil. The virus poses no danger to humans.

The first African swine fever outbreak was registered in Russia in 2007.