July 23, 2012


Russia may ban pig farming due to ASF crisis



Russia's federal veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance service, Rosselkhoznador, is considering a complete ban on pig farming, in response to the on-going African Swine Flu crisis in the Tver region.


The critical situation concerning the African swine fever (ASF) in the Tver region is forcing the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) to consider the extreme measures: if the veterinary services do not stop the epidemic, pig farming here will be totally prohibited for a two-year period.


At the same time, all farm stocks will be culled. Farmers will receive compensation at a rate of US$2.60 per kilogramme of live weight, which is almost two times lower than the market price.


Representatives of Rosselkhoznadzor recently noted that virus is spreading so actively because of the incompetence of local authorities.


"Swine fever spread so quickly because the quarantine measures are performing poorly. First of all, it is the fault of local authorities. In each area the situation should be analysed separately. Hunters shoot wild boars in insufficient numbers. Medical aid posts are working ineffectively. If the disease continues to spread at the same rate, pig farming in the Tver region will be completely banned… for a quarantine period of two years," stated the head of the Office of Rosselkhoznadzor for Tver and Pskov regions, Yuri Danilov.


"So far we've also seen a lack of cooperation of law enforcement agencies in the elimination of ASF. In the health posts, there are policemen on duty, but these forces are not enough," he added.


The Government of the the Tver region has recently approved the long-term target programme to prevent spread of ASF over the years 2012-2017. The programme's activities include a comprehensive modernisation of veterinary services in the region, the purchase of new laboratory equipment and skills development.


The program will be financed from the federal and regional budgets. The total cost of all activities is estimated at US$15.9 million. Experts have pointed out that such a programme should have been undertaken three months ago, and implementing it now will do little to improve the situation.