Bulgaria is to get 2.9 million euro in financial aid from the European Union to combat African Swine Fever (ASF) and has requested emergency aid of 11 million euro compensation for actions already carried out against outbreaks of the disease at industrial pig farms.
This emerged after a meeting on August 6 between Agriculture Minister Dessislava Taneva and European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis.
According to Bulgarian National Television, Taneva had requested funding from the European Commission to deal with the disease.
The intention is to use the 2.9 million EU funds for laboratory equipment, laboratory tests and the prevention of ASF.
Taneva said that the request for the 11 million euro, based on an estimate, had been sent on July 31.
“We expect a decision in a month,” Taneva said. She said that Andriukaitis had said that the request would be examined urgently.
At the meeting between Taneva and Andriukaitis, there were discussions on whether it would be possible to pay compensation to small farms in Bulgaria that were not registered.
Andriukaitis said that support and compensation would be available only for the large industrial pig farms, but given that people had played a part in controlling the outbreaks of ASF by voluntarily culling pigs on their private holdings “we propose a plan to support these farmers to build biosecurity on their farms, irrespective of size”.
He said that the ASF situation in Bulgaria was very serious and issued a call not to politicise it.
Between mid-September and the beginning of October, a team from the European Commission is to visit Bulgaria to check on what has been done so far to control ASF.
Further financial support from the European Commission will depend on the results of this inspection.
(Photo of Taneva: Agriculture Ministry)