Russia reports swine fever slowdown

By Vladislav Vorotnikov

- Last updated on GMT

Russia reports swine fever slowdown

Related tags Russia Livestock Pork

The spread of African swine fever (ASF) in Russia is slowing down, with animal health officials scaling down controls as a result.

The number of outbreaks of the disease in Russia have reduced considerably in the second half of September, resulting in quarantines being lifted in most of Tver Oblast, Volgograd Oblast and the Krasnodar Krai – the regions most affected by ASF in the country.

Latest information from the Russian Veterinary Department shows there have been 57 outbreaks of ASF in seven regions across the country since the beginning of 2012: 23 in the Krasnodar Krai, 19 in Tver Oblast, 11 in Volgograd Oblast, and a few cases in the Republic of Karelia and Kalmykia, Rostov and Yaroslavl regions.

The situation worsened significantly between 19 June 19 to 8 September, with 50 outbreaks of the disease reported in five regions: 20 in Krasnodar Krai, 19 outbreaks in Tver Oblast, nine in Volgograd Oblast, one in Rostov and one in Yaroslavl.

However, in the last two weeks there have only been three outbreaks of ASF, with the intensity of the disease spread falling by almost six times. Experts say this is not necessarily down to the strict controls put in place by the Russian government, with the change in weather from the hot summer to a very cold autumn seen as a major factor behind the decline in new cases.

The latest data on ASF was given at a recent press conference with Russia’s Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov. Russian officials also named the main factors affecting the spread of the virus.

“Despite the ban, private households and small-scale farms continue to feed pigs with uncooked garbage containing raw meat from pigs and wild boars,”​ said the press service. “Also, farmers are not providing the close mode of keeping animals. A serious risk occurs because owners and business managers still underestimate the danger of ASF and fail to provide sufficient biological protection.”

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