African swine fever detected on 4,000-animal pig farm

More than 22,000 pigs had to be put down since the first occurrence of ASF a year ago. (Postimees/Scanpix)
7/21/2016 11:29 AM
Category: Business

The Veterinary and Food Board (VFB) confirmed that African swine fever had been diagnosed in pigs on a farm in Kallukse in Lääne-Viru county. The farm has around 4,000 animals, all of which have to be put down. The pigpens will be disinfected.

An increased mortality among the farm’s pigs was what triggered the investigation, VFB deputy director Olev Kalda said on Thursday. Samples had been collected earlier this week, the result had been confirmed on Wednesday evening.

A quarantine zone was established around the farm, which restrictions for local growers as well as more regulations to meet. All farms in the zone can be checked at any time to assess the risk of infection. AS Vireen, which operates an animal remains rendering plant in the county’s parish of Väike-Maarja, is to begin with the killing and disposal of the animals on Thursday.

Access to the affected farms is limited to VFB personnel and those who have been cleared by the board. Scientists of the Estonian University of Life Sciences will take up an investigation how the virus might have entered the populations of the affected farms.

A small slaughterhouse in the area that had received a delivery of 30 animals from the farm in Kallukse will be disinfected as well, and all the meat and remains processed after the delivery’s arrival destroyed.

The VFB has so far confirmed occurrences of African swine fever on five farms. The first cases were diagnosed on three farms in Jõgeva County, and on one farm in Järva County, in early June.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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