African Swine Fever: Situation ‘more than critical’ – Bulgarian deputy agriculture minister

The situation regarding African Swine Fever is “more than critical”, according to Bulgaria’s deputy agriculture minister Yanko Ivanov, who was attending the second day of a conference in Brussels on steps to combat the sickness.

Ivanov, speaking in a television interview on September 7, said that if the wild pigs infected the domestic ones, “then the war will be long and deep”.

So far, only one confirmed case of African Swine Fever has been registered in Bulgaria, in the village of Tutrakantsi in the Varna district. This led authorities to kill several dozen pigs in the area.

Tests in a neighbouring village came back negative.

There is a new threat, reports on September 7 said. In Giurgiu in southern Romania, about 14km from the Bulgarian city of Rousse on the Danube, there are infected animals. Because of the proximity, people began to kill their pigs.

Ivanov said that the highest risk was a hunter taking back the carcass of a sick pig to a farm, which could lead to all the pigs on the farm being infected.

“The important thing is to divide these two populations,” Ivanov said, adding that if domestic animals are infected, “this disease will be permanently rooted in Bulgaria, and then the war will be long and terrible. People need to know this”.

A crisis headquarters had been set up in Rousse, while Bulgaria had put in place measures against African Swine Fever for several months.

The Danube Bridge had been disinfected and checks of meat crossing the border stepped up, district governor Galin Grigorov said.

(Photo: Richard New Forest)



The Sofia Globe staff

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