European Commission extends African swine fever zones 2 and 3 in Estonia
The European Commission has extended zone two of the control of the spread of African swine fever (ASF) in Estonia to cover all of continental Estonia, and zone three in the regions off Lääne-Viru, Jõgeva and Harju Counties where ASF has been recently detected.
Amending the EU's Implementing Decision as regards to the Baltic States and Poland, the Commission extended zone three in select areas of Estonia and imposed zone two across all of continental Estonia, the Estonian Veterinary and Food Board (VTA) said on Friday.
Citing detected cases of ASF in domestic pigs on more farms in July, the new decision places 13 more farms in Lääne-Viru, Jõgeva and Harju Counties inside zone three, or the restricted zone, seven of which are small holdings with fewer than ten pigs. As a result of outbreaks of ASF in wild boars in new regions of Harju and Rapla Counties, zone two has been extended to cover the whole of continental Estonia.
Olev Kalda, deputy director general of the VTA, said that extending zone two brought with it additional restrictions first and foremost for sellers of live pigs, whereas the expansion of zone three imposed restrictions on the sale of output for 13 pork producers.
"The extension of zone two concerning wild boar effectively doesn't change a lot, as the export of wild boar meat was restricted in the buffer zone in effect in Western Estonia and Harju County as well," explained Kalda. "But extending the zone must definitely be seen as an important indicator of the need to carry on reducing wild boar populations as well as removing potentially infectious materials from the wild."