Bulgaria’s Food Safety Agency: No meat infected with ASF on the market

There is no meat infected with African Swine Fever (ASF) in the shops, the head of the animal health department at Bulgaria’s Food Safety Agency, Dr Alexandra Miteva, told Nova Televizia on July 13.

“African Swine Fever is not dangerous for humans. There is no danger to public health and to consumers,” Miteva said.

Infected meat was confiscated to prevent a possible further spread of the disease among the animals mainly susceptible to it, domestic and wild pigs, she said.

African Swine Fever spread very easily and quickly, Miteva said.

“The main factor in it being spread is the human factor – footwear, equipment, vehicles, people who have passed through infected areas, who have been in the forests, can transmit the disease.”

The first of the current outbreaks of African Swine Fever in Bulgaria was in Pleven.

“The disease spreads very quickly, and again, ‘thanks’ to people and their behaviour. Within two weeks, we had confirmed 16 outbreaks in five districts,” Miteva said.

The outbreaks were mainly in unregistered back yards where there was unregulated pig breeding, she said.

Pigs in infected areas were being culled using methods in accordance with European Union legislation, Miteva said. “The method is completely humane.”

The carcasses were buried at specified locations by authorised institutions, at a depth of more than three metres. Incineration would delay the process, she said.

There are about 450 000 registered pigs in Bulgaria, according to the report.

In a recent case, the first outbreak at an industrial farm, culling began of 17 000 pigs at a farm in Nikolovo in Bulgaria’s Rousse municipality.

(Map, of African Swine Fever outbreaks in Bulgaria as of July 22 2019: Bulgarian Food Safety Agency)



The Sofia Globe staff

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