African swine fever found in Russia
- has been confirmed by the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary
and Phytosanitary Surveillance (VPSS).
The fever is caused by a virus which infects domestic pigs, warthogs and bushpigs, as well as soft ticks. The virus is lethal and in some cases can cause death within a week after infection. African swine fever was found in a family of wild boars in the Chechen Republic. In a separate incident a case of classical swine fever was detected in two culled wild boars from a hunting reserve in the Lotoshino rayon area. The shocking news comes just months after the UK was put on high alert after foot and mouth was discovered in Surrey. Foot and mouth is an acute infectious disease which causes fever and blisters, especially in the mouth and on the feet. It spreads through contact with saliva, milk, dung or blood of infected animals, as well as by the movement of animals, humans and vehicles that have been in contact with the virus. During that outbreak industry was predicted to lose €20m a week due to a ban on exports. Had the incident in Russia affected export meat then it too could have suffered a heavy blow to the economy. A VPSS official advised the United States Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agriculture Service that the case was detected during "intensive monitoring" of the incidence of diseases among wild boars in the North Caucasus after a massive outbreak of African swine fever was reported in neighbouring Georgia. The veterinary services of the two provinces are taking appropriate measures to prevent further spread of the infection. A joint team of the VPSS Veterinary Directorate, Veterinary Service of the Chechen Republic, representatives of the Ministry of Defense, Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB) have launched measures to prevent African swine fever in wild fauna in the Chechen Republic. The farm where classical swine fever virus was found in two wild boars has been placed in quarantine. Hunting has been prohibited and animals have been given vaccinations. In the region where African swine fever was found weak wild boars were culled, but officials said no new incidences were detected. As a precaution, hog farms in the Moscow oblast region have taken additional measures to prevent the infection spreading.