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Ministers of Agriculture and Heads of Veterinary Boards of the Baltic States discussed urgent measures to prevent the spread of African swine fever

31. July 2014 - 14:47
Baltic ministers of agriculture
Photo: Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania

In Vilnius today, Minister of Agriculture Ivari Padar had an extraordinary meeting with Ministers of Agriculture of Latvia and Lithuania, a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland and with Heads of Veterinary Boards to find solutions for the prevention of the spread of African swine fever in the region. It was decided to prepare a joint action plan for the prevention of the disease and to apply to the European Commission for full compensation of the costs related to stamping out pigs.

„Regarding the spread of African swine fever, Baltic countries and Poland are a buffer for the whole European Union, this is why it is justified to apply to the European Commission for additional funds. This money will be used to apply preventive measures to stop the spread of African swine fever and to support farmers in their transition from pig farming to other fields of animal breeding,“ Minister of Agriculture Ivari Padar explained.

As a result of the meeting, a working group of the chief veterinarians of the four countries will be established with a view to prepare preventive measures to stop the spread of African swine fever due 15 August. Development of common positions on control of wild boars population and cooperation with researchers were also discussed.

At the meeting, Minister of Agriculture was accompanied by Director General of the Veterinary and Food Board Ago Pärtel, Head of the Food Safety Department of the Ministry Martin Minjajev and Head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Ministry Ruve Šank.

In July, several African swine fever cases were diagnosed in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. So far, there haven’t been any disease cases in Estonia but a buffer zone extending 40 km from Latvian border was established. Pig holdings and farms located within the zone are under veterinary control and it is prohibited to take animals in or out of the zone without permit of inspection body. Buffer zone comprises all rural municipalities of Valgamaa, Antsla, Mõniste, Urvaste and Varstu rural municipalities in Võrumaa and Karksi rural municipality in Viljandimaa.

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