22,000 pigs killed so far to stop spread of swine fever

(Reuters/Scanpix)
8/25/2015 4:58 PM
Category: Environment

The official number of pigs put to death due to the spread of African swine fever is now 21,996.

The Veterinary and Food Board today confirmed the disease in two farms in the south of the country, with nearly 4,000 pigs combined. All the pigs will be put down.

The outbreak began at the end of July when 547 swine were incinerated.

Although the disease does not pose a threat to humans, the meat of infected animals will not be sold due to fears of further spreading the disease.

African swine fever is a highly contagious and fatal disease of domestic and feral pigs (including wild boar) transmitted through direct and indirect contacts, ingestion of contaminated feed-stuffs and by certain tick vector species. It is considered one of the most dangerous diseases of pigs, with a mortality rate close to 100 percent and no vaccine or drugs currently available for either cure or prevention.

Increased safety measures have been put into place to curb the spread of the disease. The European Commission recently set the toughest, zone 3 restrictions for areas infected with the African swine fever in Estonia. Pork from this zone can be sold, but must be processed and marketed at special conditions.

Estonia currently has around 900 pig farms and 370,000 pigs. The Veterinary and Food Board has committed to checking each farm to make sure the disease control measures have been implemented.

J.M. Laats

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