The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) granted Estonia the status of African swine fever (ASF) free country, meaning that it has successfully kept ASF away from its farms.
Veterinary and Food Board (VTA) spokesperson Elen Kurvits said that the ASF-free status of Estonia's domestic pigs will not result in any substantive changes for pig farmers or businesses, adding that this is instead an indicator that ASF hasn't been detected at any farms in Estonia for at least two years.
Restrictions already in place will remain, however, until ASF has been eradicated from Estonia's wild boar population as well, Kurvits added.
According to VTA Deputy Director General Olev Kalda, this status is a great credit. "As ASF hasn't been detected in domestic pigs in Estonia in two years, we were able to declare ASF freedom in domestic pigs," he said.
Kalda added that the status of ASF-free country improves trust in trade partners as well, and based on the example of Belgium, it was thanks to this status that businesses were able to access several foreign markets with their products.
"While cases of ASF continue to be found in wild boar, the integrity of domestic pigs has been the result of good cooperation," said Estonian Hunters' Society executive director Tõnis Korts.
ASF-free status has also been granted to Canada, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Kazakhstan and Mexico.
Editor: Aili Vahtla