African Swine Fever: Bulgarian Food Safety Agency confirms new outbreaks in 3 districts
The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency said on July 31 that it had confirmed two new outbreaks in the district of Montana and two cases in feral pigs in the districts of Plovdiv and Razgrad.
In the district of Montana, where the outbreaks of African Swine Fever were confirmed for the first time, the disease was found in domestic pits at “back yard” lots in the Mladenovo area of the town of Lom and in the village of Kovachitsa.
In accordance with European and Bulgarian legislation, pigs in the affected areas will be culled.
New cases of African Swine Fever also have been identified in two wild pigs shot in the municipality of Kuklen in the district of Plovdiv and in six dead pigs found in the Voden hunting areas in the district of Razgrad.
In both districts, these are the first confirmed cases of African Swine Fever, the agency said.
The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency called on those in the affected areas who have pigs in their “back yards” to slaughter them as a matter of urgency and dispose of the carcasses in accordance with the law and regulations.
“African Swine Fever is a dangerous and rapidly spreading disease. Preventing it requires accountability, rigorous application of biosecurity rules and consistency of measures,” the agency said.
Confirmed cases of African Swine Fever in Bulgaria include those at five industrial pig farms, where more than 100 000 pigs in total were held, and among wild boar.
Interior Minister Mladen Marinov told journalists on July 31 that he had ordered police to be on the lookout for unregulated animal transport. Earlier this week, police checkpoints were set up on two key mountain passes linking northern to southern Bulgaria, in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the disease.
Around the industrial pig farms where outbreaks of African Swine Fever have been confirmed, 20km sanitary zones have been set up. According to Bulgarian authorities, veterinarians, assisted by military police, have been deployed to prevent infected pigs being brought to abbatoirs.
With about a fifth to a sixth of pigs in Bulgaria now affected by the African Swine Fever outbreak, prices of pork have been increasing steadily and are projected to rise further. In a country where about 80 per cent of the meat consumed is pig meat, consumers reportedly are shifting to purchases of chicken and fish.
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