After months of speculation, Belarus veterinary services have confirmed the occurrence of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.
The outbreak was confirmed using PCR testing and reported to the Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on June 21, by Dr Yury Pyvavarchyk, chief veterinary officer at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in Minsk, Belarus.
The outbreak occurred in a village called Chapun in the Grodno region, adjacent to both the Polish and Lithuanian borders – in the district of Iwye, subdistrict Lelyunskiy. In a batch of 16 pigs, one pig was confirmed to have died of ASF; the other 15 were culled.
The source of the outbreak is thought to be contaminated feed. Movement control is applied throughout Belarus now.
As a result, Russia and Ukraine have taken their measures. Russia has introduced temporary restrictions on imports of live pigs, boar semen, pork and raw pork meat, pork products, and animal feed. The Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor has indicated to be ready to provide veterinary services and necessary assistance to Belarus.
Ukraine has banned the import of pigs and pork from Belarus as well. The embargo also applies to fodder for pigs and genetic material.
The report to the OIE does not come as a total surprise. There have been hearsay reports of African Swine Fever in Belarus for the last year. It is the first time, however, the disease was officially reported by Belarusian authorities.
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