Swine fever emergency lifted as of New Year

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Beginning January 1st, the state-of-emergency declared in more than 40 administrative territories stretching from Latvia’s eastern borders all the way to the outskirts of Riga for stopping the spread of African swine fever (ASF) will be lifted, the Ministry of Agriculture announced Monday.

At the same time, the ministry said it shall remain ready to impose the strict quarantine and sanitary regime again should ASF reappear in either any of these or other new territories.

The plague, spread by wild boar crossing the border and coming into contact with domestic pigs, is deadly to both types of swine and wreaked devastation upon many pig-farmers, even threatening the entire pork producing sector of the economy since the first outbreaks were confirmed this summer. The state-of-emergency imposed stringent disinfection measures on all pig farmers in the affected areas, prompting cullings and preemptive slaughters at farms unable to meet the requirements in time.

According to European Union rulings, limitations on the transport of pork products from the affected ASF territories will remain in effect until the end of 2018.

In addition, state Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) inspectors will continue their visits even after the new year in accordance with regulations set by both Latvia and the EU, the ministry said in its announcement.

According to official PVD data, so far ASF had been confirmed in 202 wild boar specimens found in 34 counties of 13 districts, as well as in 72 domestic pigs at 31 farms. A total of 564 domestic pigs were slaughtered whose farmers were unable or unwilling to implement the state-of-emergency measures.

On July 1 the Agriculture Data Center had registered 91,325 pigs at 5271 pens inside the affected territories.

The last confirmed case of the ASF virus in a domestic pig was reported on September 17.

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