African Swine Fever: Bulgaria sets up 20km sanitary zone around industrial pig farms

Twenty kilometre sanitary zones are being set up around all 62 registered industrial pig farms in Bulgaria, the country’s Agriculture Minister Dessislava Taneva said on July 29.

In these zones, there should be no small private pig farms and home-breeding of pigs without biosecurity measures.

Taneva was speaking after a meeting of the national epizootic commission, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev.

Abbatoirs would be under “constant surveillance” by veterinarians and military police, to prevent the slaughter of “unregulated” domestic pigs from sites that lack the appropriate level of biosecurity.

There are 110 registered abbatoirs in Bulgaria, 67 for the slaughtering of pigs, Taneva said.

As of the end of last week, there was an order issued by Environment Minister Neno Dimov by which all requests for burial sites should be agreed in the shortest possible time.

Donchev said that “all the resources of the state” had been mobilised to deal with African Swine Fever. The problem was not only one for the Agriculture Ministry and Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, he said.

“No measure, whatever it is, is effective without an understanding on the part of society,” he said.

Taneva said that there was currently no vaccine for African Swine Fever, but a company was working on developing one.

She said that the owners of all registered pigs that had been culled would be compensated by the state, in accordance with current law.

Bulgaria would be compensated, in turn, by the European Commission for this spending. EU law says that the compensation may be from 50 to 100 per cent, and in the case of Bulgaria, it was expected to be 75 per cent, Taneva said.

Currently, there have been 22 confirmed outbreaks of African Swine Fever in Bulgaria, including at three industrial pig farms in the district of Rousse. The outbreaks mean the culling of tens of thousands of pigs.



The Sofia Globe staff

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