October 28, 2009
Russia may lose one million pigs on African Swine Fever
The Russian agriculture ministry may transfer pig farms to closed operation mode due to spread of African Swine Fever throughout the country which may result to a loss of one million pigs or 50,000 tonnes of meat.
According to the ministry, the direct economic losses from African Swine Fever could reach 25-30 billion rubles (EUR600 million, US$889.17 million). Further spread of the disease can destroy the country's pig production, and the whole program of livestock development.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO UN) has already expressed its concerns regarding with African swine fever spread in Russia. According to FAO experts, the disease could spread to other regions, including the European Union, Eastern Europe, and the Black Sea.
It warns that in the worst case scenario, the disease can even spread to central Asia and China which has the largest pig population in the world.
FAO says the virus can spread locally and over wider geographical areas by moving infected pigs or contaminated pork products.