Saeima affirms expanded swine fever emergency zone

The Saeima approved an extension of the government's declared state-of-emergency zone prompted by the outbreak of African swine fever into more central districts of Latvia Wednesday morning at its extraordinary plenary session.

With this latest parliamentary rubber-stamp, the monitoring and quarantine areas now include the heartland districts of Pļaviņas, Madona, Krustpils, Koknese and some counties in the Ogre district. Local farmers and residents now need to observe the epidemiological countermeasures required according to the law: stringent biosecurity and disinfection measures as well as prohibitions on transporting pigs, pork and its byproducts out of the zone. Pig farmers in the newly-declared zone are now eligible for compensations, should their registered domestic swine need to be culled.


Some MP’s urged that the entire national territory be declared as a state of emergency. Līvija Plavinska (Unity) agreed that the zone should be extended, but predicted it would spead soon to encompass all of Latvia.

“It seems as if the wild animals in our natural environment will not let us stop this. We see the rate at which it keeps moving on. I think we should have taken more radical steps and declared the whole of Latvia a state-of-emergency."

"I think we should have taken more radical steps and declared the whole of Latvia a state-of-emergency."

Plavinka also warned that disinfection agents are not in fact readily available.

“These companies have raised the prices on these disinfectants, so much so that the government needs to get involved and set some limits. Perhaps they should just donate the agents to farmers free of charge,” she suggested.

At this point ASF has been confirmed in more than 50 wild boar and 50 domestic pigs at 25 homesteading farms and one larger pig farm. Already 459 domestic swine have been slaughtered in culls.

The state-of-emergency measures are currently funded from state budget resources set aside for unforeseen circumstances.

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