Latvia to expand African swine fever risk zones

In order to improve animal health control measures and prevent African swine fever from spreading further, African swine fever risk zones are to be expanded, according to amendments to the strategy on elimination of African swine fever, approved at a meeting of state secretaries, reported LETA Thursday.

According to the amendments, new regions and counties will be added to the first, second, and third African swine fever risk zones. The regulations are yet to be reviewed by the government.

According to the law, there are three African swine fever risk zones.

The first zone includes areas where no African swine fever cases have been registered, but these areas are located next to areas where African swine fever has been found. The second zone includes counties and regions where African swine fever has been found in wild boars, and the third - areas where the disease has been confirmed in domestic pigs.

As reported, at the end of June and beginning of July, a flare-up of African swine fever was reported in Lithuania and Estonia, as well as in Poland for the first time this year, thus there is a substantial threat to Latvia's domestic pig population.

In 2015, African swine fever was detected in 1,048 wild boars in Latvia. Also, 213 domestic pigs tested positive for the disease since the outbreak started in Latvia in June 2014 not far from the border with Belarus.

About 14,000 domestic pigs were culled to keep the infection from spreading, and €2.3m were paid to farmers in compensations.

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