Latvia declares emergency in several regions due to swine fever

Latvia's government on Tuesday declared an emergency in several regions affected by an outbreak of the African swine fever (ASF), a dangerous porcine disease. 

The emergency was declared in the Krimulda region where a farm has been struck heavily by the latest outbreak, as well as in the Adazi region where the pigs will be culled, and also the Salaspils region where a building belonging to the same farm is located. The emergency situation will remain place until April 17, 2017.

About €100,000 from contingency funds will be allocated in relation to the emergency situation.

The Rukas farm in Krimulda, central Latvia, recently saw a huge outbreak of the disease. It's the first case of ASF established in a domestic pigs this year, and it's also the direst case the country has ever seen.

A three-km quarantine zone has been set up around the farm where 5,023 pigs are kept. The source of infection is unclear for now.

The losses due to the outbreak of African swine fever in Rukas farm in Krimulda, central Latvia, will add up to millions of euros, said Raimonds Kalvans, CEO of Ancers company which owns the farm.

Because of the disease, sows and piglets in the farm have to be killed, and, in addition to the investment in the business, special genetic material will also be lost.

Latvia has spent €13.318 million on the prevention and combating of African swine fever (ASF) since the deadly animal infection started spreading in the country three years ago.

So far this year, African swine fever has been found in 43 wild boars, but this is the first case this year the infection has been established in domestic pigs in Latvia.

In 2016, ASF was discovered among domestic pigs in three Latvian farms - one in Varkava region and two in Gulbene region - where 50, 142 and 119 pigs respectively had to be culled in order to contain the disease. Last year ASF was also found in 1,146 wild boars across Latvia.

The ASF outbreak started in Latvia in June 2014 close to the border with Belarus.

African swine fever is an extremely dangerous and contagious virus infection affecting pigs. If an infected pig is discovered in a farm, all of the pigs in that farm have to be culled.

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