Bulgaria’s government has approved additional funding of up to 28 million leva (about 14 million euro) for the Agriculture Ministry to pay compensation and implement steps to eradicate African Swine Fever (ASF).
This emerged at a briefing by Agriculture Minister Dessislava Taneva after the Cabinet held its regular weekly meeting on August 28.
The additional funds will be used to pay compensation to pig farms where outbreaks of ASF have been confirmed.
Some of the funds will go to assist farmers who carried out voluntary culling of their pigs, as well for disinfection, the finding of dead and wild pigs and compensation for raw materials and feed that had been destroyed.
Taneva said that in the past two weeks, there had been no confirmed outbreaks of ASF in domestic pigs.
In August, there had been five confirmed cases, compared with July, when there were 28. “The trend of a sharp decline is obvious,” Taneva said, adding that she hoped the trend would continue.
She said that the funds were part of the 23 million euro requested from the European Commission on August 14.
Following an audit and verification, the funding will be co-financed 75 per cent by the European Commission, Taneva said.
Payments of compensation to private farms would start after September 1, Taneva said. A million leva had been set aside in the Agriculture Ministry’s budget to fund these payments.
In all, there were 43 infected zones in 10 districts, she said.
Taneva said that a plan was in place to reduce Bulgaria’s wild boar population.
A total of 450 traps had been constructed. With the results of individual hunting, Bulgaria’s wild boar population was now down by about 2000, she said.
(Photo of Taneva: Bulgaria’s Agriculture Ministry)