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News 620 views last update:Feb 13, 2013

OIE to help Russia fight ASF

A regional representative office of the International Office of Epizootics (OIE) will soon appear in Moscow, this has been agreed at the current Berlin exhibition ‘Green Week’ by the minister of agriculture of Russia, Nikolai Fyodorov and director general of the OIE, Bernard Val.

The main objective of the new initiative, according to officials, is to help the Russian veterinary services fight against the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.

According to the representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, OIE will share experiences and advice with Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor in terms of best practices to combat the disease. OIE director general Bernard Vallat is aware of this problem, and he believes that the main problem that hinders Rosselkhoznadzor efforts to stop the spread of the disease - is the decentralisation of veterinary services.

Earlier, he had already stated this in an interview: "The Russian problem is that its [veterinary] system is not centralised. This is extremely inconvenient. Animal diseases like a real war, where it should be many colonels and a lot of soldiers, but the general should be only one. If there are many generals, then the war surely will be lost."

According to the Deputy Head of Rosselkhoznadzor, Nikolai Vlasov, the absence of new ASF outbreaks in Russia in recent month is temporary. He added that it has a seasonal nature: in the winter the migration of wild boars is reduced, while transport (and all exchanges) between the rural settlements stops. Also, the rate of spread and intensity of new ASF outbreaks have been lowed because of last years measures which were implemented by the heads of Rosselkhoznadzor, especially in the Krasnodar region.

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