African swine fever sparks emergency in Latvia
The most recent case of ASF was found on a farm in the Krimulda region which has over 5,000 pigs. The Adazi and Salapils regions have been included in the measures as the former is where the pigs were due to be culled and the latter hosts another shed belonging to the same farm.
In an effort to stop the spread of ASF from these regions, the emergency measures will be in place until 17 April 2017.
The government has estimated that the elimination of the animals involved and the by-products will cost €124,300. This and the associated costs of the ASF eradication and containment will be paid for from a state budget for “unforeseen events”.
In a statement, it said: “To be able to react quickly to the situation, PVD will cooperate with the relevant authorities, the State Police, the State Environmental Service and the State Fire and Rescue Service.”
As part of the measures, roadside checkpoints have been set up and there is a 3km quarantine zone around the farm. The measures apply to “all persons who reside on the territories announced in the emergency, as well as persons for whom there is a suspicion that they may have unregistered porcine species”.
Speaking on LMT television, PVD director Maris Balodis said “this is the biggest crisis that Latvia has had” as far as it concerns ASF and that, until now, the disease had only struck small farms.
Raimond Kalvans, CEO of Ancers, which owns the farm, said the losses will run into the millions.
However, there may be some compensation for the business. According to the PVD, expenses for companies, institutions and municipalities that incur expenses during the eradication and containment will be covered from the state fund.