Pig fever emergency reaches northeast frontier

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Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) chief Maris Balodis informed the public Saturday that the emergency situation already in place for Latgale over the spreading outbreak of African swine fever is now in effect as well in the north-eastern border districts of Valka, Naukšēni, Strenči, Ape, Alūksne, Viļaka, Balvi, Rugāji, Baltinava, Kārsava and Rēzekne.

“The disease keeps spreading,” said the PVD chief on Latvian Radio. “All measures to limit the illness will go into effect in this area. Hunters are ordered to reduce the wild boar number. Next comes homesteads that can’t ensure proper biosecurity levels,” Balodis added. The state veterinary health service has posted warnings and instructions for pig-keeping farmers, hunters and the general public on its website.

Pārtikas un veterinārā dienesta vadītājs Māris Balodis
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The announcement came swiftly on the heels of positive lab tests on one among a herd of domestic pigs as well as a wild boar carcass hunted down in Ergeme parish near the northern town of Valka reported late Friday.

This is a serious set-back to veterinary health authorities whose inspectors have been battling round-the-clock for weeks in Latgale and now need to extend their efforts to Latvia’s northern borders with Russia and fellow EU-member Estonia.



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