New African swine fever quarantine zone enforced

Take note – story published 9 years ago

In light of the recent confirmation of African swine fever (ASF) among wild boar carcasses found in Limbaži district, effective Tuesday, March 10 a new quarantine zone set by the state Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) has gone into effect in the counties of Katvari, Umurga and Limbaži as well as within Limbaži town limits in western Vidzeme province, the PVD announced in the official state publication Latvijas vēstnesis Tuesday.

With the putting into effect of the quarantine zone it is now prohibited without PVD approval to transport pigs, fresh pork meat and its byproducts from the determined territory.

Domestic pig farmers must place mats soaked in disinfectants around all of the animal barns in addition to other sanitary security measures. They are obliged to cooperate with PVD inspectors, who may freely access all private properties upon initial request.

On their part hunters are obliged to notify the PVD of all hunted down or found carcasses of wild boar, including ensuring their keeping until the receipt of laboratory test results. It is also prohibited without PVD approval to supply fresh wild boar meat or its byproducts to retail sale establishments from the quarantine territory.

On March 6 five fallen wild boar specimens were found to be infected with ASF in Umurga county, where it had not been encountered before.

Assessing the situation in light of the rapid approach of spring, the PVD urges all animal keepers, especially pig-raisers, to strictly follow biosecurity and sanitary measures to protect their herds from infection and reduce the risk of ASF spreading to surrounding territories.

So far this year 72 wild boar in 20 different counties have been found infected with the ASF virus, which is debilitating and deadly to pigs and their related forest-adapted cousins in the wild. However, no new cases among any of Latvia’s domestic pig herds have been noted since September 17 last year. ASF was first discovered in three wild boar wandered just meters across the border from Belarus. In the neighboring state to the southeast, the disease is known to be widespread despite complete official silence on whether there even is a problem in the first place.

The state-of-emergency lifted with the New Year could easily be put back into effect should ASF continue to be confirmed as having spread to new administrative territories.

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