Baltic Agricultural Ministers Meet in Lithuania to Draw Up Swine Fever Battle Plan ({{commentsTotal}})

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Today in Vilnius, Baltic agriculture ministers discussed the spread of African swine fever and decided to draft an action plan by August 15 and putting in a request to the European Commission for funding.

A team of veterinarians from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will be formed to prepare the document.

"The Baltics and Poland are the buffer for all of the EU where stopping the spread of African swine fever is concerned so it is justified to request financial resources from the Commission," said Estonian Agriculture Minister Ivar Padar after the meeting, in which a Polish delegation also participated.

The money would be spent on preventive measures and compensating farmers, Padar said.

The minsters also discussed controls on wild pig populations and cooperation with farmers.

Cooperation with Belarus in stopping the spread of the animal disease was also to be discussed, the ministry said.

Estonia is the only one of the countries that has not had a case of ASF - Latvia found the virus in a wild pig - but a buffer zone has been established within 40 km of the Latvian border where movements of livestock require a special permit.

The buffer zone includes all of Valga County, four rural municipalities in Võru County and one municipality in Viljandi County.

Padar was accompanied on the trip to Vilnius by director general of the Veterinary and Food Board Ago Pärtel, as well as Agriculture Ministry food safety department head Martin Minjajev and public relations department head Ruve Šank.