ANALYSIS - An increase in cases of African Swine Fever in Russia has forced the Russian veterinary authorities to step up control measures, writes Chris Harris.
Throughout June, there were a series of cases reported largely in the Tver and Volgograd regions, in small holdings, among the wild boar population and recently on one of the larger complexes – the Agri Dimitrov Mountain company in the Konakovsky district of the Tver Region.
Samples taken from the farm have been sent to the central laboratories of VNIIVViM for further tests.
The outbreak at Dimitrov Mountain was found in the breeding complex of the farm. The other parts of the farm, including the rearing centre eight kilometres from the outbreak, have put monitoring measure in place.
Pigs in the outer zones of the control areas are reported not to be in danger but sales of products from the Agri Dimitrov Mountain slaughterhouse have been suspended.
At the end of last week, the veterinary authorities, Rosselkhoznador, reported that ASF is continuing to spread in the Volgograd region.
The spread has been mainly on smallholdings including Deer Farm and RAO Alekseevskoe in the Alexis region of Volgograd.
Rosselkhoznador said that since ASF was first discovered in 2007 the disease has seen 909,000 destroyed or killed and compensation of more and 2.3 billion rubles paid out.
“In June 2013, there is a significant increase in the number of outbreaks of ASF,” Rosselkhoznador said.
It added that it appears to be spreading into new areas, including Tula, Yaroslavl, Novgorod, Smolensk and Moscow regions from Tver including two large pig farms – Dimitrov Mountain and APK Agroeko in the Voronezh region.
This year ASF has been found for the first time in the Smolensk and Tambov regions.
Rosselkhoznador has warned that the disease is spreading in such a way that the two regions at present affected – Tver and the Southern Federal District – could join to make one infected area.
Part of the problem, the veterinary authority has said, is that the measures to control the disease are being broken, including a lack of proper accounting for pigs kept on all types of farms and a general failure to comply with measures put in place to prevent and eliminate the disease.
The authority has also found other violations of the regulations to control the disposal of waste and also measures to control feeding food waste to pigs.
There have also been breeches in the regulations over the transportation of pigs and a lack of measures to control the wild boar population.
Rosselkhoznador has ordered a tightening of the controls because of the increase in outbreaks this year, including tightening up on the transport of pigs carrying pout a stock take of pigs in the Central, Southern and North Caucasus regions and the prevention of feeding food waste that has not been properly cooked to pigs.
There will also be more measure to reduce the wild boar population.