April 14, 2010


ASF outbreaks threaten Russian meat and feed exports



Regular outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF), which continue to be registered in the south of Russia may create serious problems for the domestic meat and feed grain exporters, some Russian analysts in the field of agriculture believe.


According to these analysts, in the worst-case scenario Russia will have to stop all of its pork as well as feed grain exports and the ban will last for decades.


Currently the Russian veterinary authorities still have no vaccine against the virus and the only way to combat it is to destroy all of the diseased animals and to implement a quarantine. However, even such measures might be useless taking into account the fact that in the 1970's the virus destroyed all pig population in Cuba.


If the spread of the disease is not stopped, the Russian government will be forced to impose a moratorium on further pork exports, experts suggest.


Meanwhile, the current situation remains uncertain and unpredictable. So far, farmers and veterinary authorities have already destroyed more than 80,000 pigs, but the virus continues to spread.


The total direct damage from the epidemic has reached RUB1.5 billion.

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