RUSSIA - African Swine Fever in Russia is spreading at a rate of 300km a year and while for the pig producers in Siberia at present it is only something they are hearing about, they are still preparing for the infection to enter their region, writes Chris Harris.
One of the major pig producing areas of Russia – the Omsk Region – in the South West of Siberia fears that if the disease spreads to the region, it will have a devastating effect on pig production and the supply of meat in the area.
The region, which is more than 2,200 km from Moscow stretches for 600km north to south and 300km east to west and the major concern is that the main pig meat production is from seven large farms that are very close together.
The veterinary authorities Rosselkhoznador said that an outbreak of ASF could mean the region would be “practically without meat”.
In the region that is the heart of the current outbreak of ASF, Veronezh, Rosselkhoznador inspectors have been testing the markets at the instruction of the deputy prime minister Arkardy Dvotkovich in a bid to prevent unsafe meat from entering the market.
The authorities say that there has been increased surveillance of retailers because of the incidets of ASF and foot and mouth disease this year.
Under the controls that have been put in place for ASF, the authorities in Voronezh conducted 111 inspections of trade and catering facilities this summer, which resulted in 120 enforcement actions and prosecutions.
The officials systematically carried out raids to detect and prevent the unauthorised transport of pigs, pig products and raw material and they carried out unscheduled inspections of documents to prevent illegal pig products coming on to the retail market.
Part of the checks on the implementation of veterinary controls has been tests to ensure that products that are on the retail market have undergone the correct laboratory tests and that they have the correct documentation to go with them.
The local office of Rosselkhoznador has issued orders to eliminate violations of the rules and ensure the controls are adhered to by a strict deadline.
The most recent recorded incidents of African swine fever in the region are in the Rostov and Smolensk regions, where the disease is continuing to spread among wild boar.
In Rostov it was identified last week in three dead pigs found in the Vinogradov hunting territory of Chertkovsky and in a wild board in the Popovski hunting territory in Bokovskaya.
In the Smolensk regioin it was found in two hunting territories in the Safonovo district and in Viazemsky and Hislavichskovo districts