Third case of African swine fever confirmed

More than 22,000 pigs had to be put down since the first occurrence of ASF a year ago. (Postimees/Scanpix)
7/5/2016 8:55 AM
Source: BNS
Category: Business

A third case of African swine fever (ASF) was discovered on a small pig farm in Jõgeva County on Monday. The affected farmer owns just three pigs, which brings back the question of possible government support for smaller farms.

To prevent spread of the infection, the outbreak spot would be quarantined, the animals put down, and the building in which they were kept disinfected, the Veterinary and Food Board said.

Although formally, all bio security rules might be followed, in practice following the rules could be difficult for small pig farmers, the board’s Olev Kalda said. He added that they had decided to check all pig farms again in the coming weeks.

Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse (Reform) proposed to the Rural Development Foundation on Monday to continue the measures introduced in August last year to make it easier for small farmers to give up pig farming.

“The recent outbreaks of the disease in Poland, Lithuania, and also Estonia show that pig farming is becoming more and more risky in our region owing to the ever-present disease threat, and requires constant investment in biosafety,” Kruuse said on Monday. “This makes small-scale pig farming problematic. In view of that, we have to be prepared to facilitate temporary exit from pig farming so as to reduce the risks.”

Last year the Rural Development Foundation supported owners of 121 small pig farms. The growers submitted a total of 133 applications to be compensated for 498 pigs, and more than €45,000 was disbursed.

Monday’s diagnosis is the third occurrence of the disease in a week, after on Friday two cases were confirmed. This is the first recurrence of the disease in domestic pigs since September 2015. So far, more than 22,000 pigs infected with ASF have been killed in Estonia.

The first-ever case of ASF in this country was a wild boar found dead in September 2014 in the southern county of Valga. The diagnosis was confirmed by the European reference laboratory in Spain. The disease was first diagnosed in domestic pigs in Estonia in July 2015.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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