Swine fever still creeping westward through the woods

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During the past week laboratory tests have confirmed more cases of African swine fever (ASF), this time in the districts of Burtnieki in northern Vidzeme province, and Krustpils in southeastern Zemgale province, Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) representative Anna Joffe informed business portal Nozare.lv Wednesday.

Altogether five specimens in Mežāre parish in Krustpils district and two in Burtnieki district’s Renceni county were found and handed over to state food safety and research institute BIOR labs, which confirmed that they were infected with the deadly-to-pigs virus.

The new cases confirm warnings stated by PVD chief Maris Balodis Tuesday that the ASF virus, rather than sweeping across the land and decimating the animal population in a massive and rapid wave, instead spreads slowly in eddies that return periodically to the same areas where it first broke out and then moves on more slowly through the forests as wild boar herds migrate and interact.

Current tallies total 126 wild boar from 26 counties and parishes in 11 territorial districts confirmed to have had ASF. Altogether 564 domestic swine have been slaughtered in preventive moves by pig farmers to avoid the onerous costs of meeting state-of-emergency sanitary health and quarantine requirements.

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