African Swine Fever: Bulgaria confirms three new cases

The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency said on August 8 that it had confirmed three new cases of African Swine Fever (ASF), in each case involving wild pigs that had been found dead.

One case was of two wild pigs found dead near the village of Zmenitsa in the Dospat municipality in the Smolyan district, another a wild pig found dead in Vurbnitsa in the Shoumen district and the third, a wild pig found dead near the village of Novo Gradishte in the Strazhitsa municipality in the district of Veliko Turnovo.

In all the cases, tests for ASF had proved positive at a national laboratory in Sofia.

In the cases in Shoumen and Smolyan, these were the first tests for ASF that had proved positive, the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency said.

Before the outbreak of ASF, Bulgaria had up to 600 000 pigs in registered farms. Confirmed cases have led to about 130 000 pigs ordered culled.

Reports on August 8 said that about 80 000 pigs already had been culled at pig farms in the district of Rousse in northern Bulgaria. At an industrial farm in the village of Golyama Vranovo, more than 6000 pigs had been culled.

Bulgaria is to receive EU funding to cope with the ASF outbreak. At the same time, the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency is under investigation by prosecutors in connection with allegations of irregularities in handling the outbreaks.

On August 8, protests against orders for compulsory culling of domestic pigs were continuing.

Residents of the municipality of Dolni Chiflik blocked the road between Bulgaria’s Black Sea cities of Varna and Bourgas in protest, Bulgarian National Television reported, while a protest blockade of the Sliven – Yambol road entered its seventh day on August 8.

African Swine Fever (ASF) is a virus that infects domestic pigs and wild boars. Infected animals get high fever and internal bleeding. More than 90 per cent of infected pigs die, mostly within a week, according to an article by Deutsche Welle, entitled African Swine Fever: What you need to know.

The disease is transmitted through contact with infected blood or carcasses of animals that have died from the disease. The virus can remain in them for months or even years. Scientists say humans cannot be infected.



The Sofia Globe staff

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