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Latvia introduces emergency measures to combat ASF

With the African swine fever (ASF) situation in Latvia becoming more and more dangerous the country plans to launch a massive culling of domestic pigs in the territory this week in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.

The announced was made during a video conference of the Latvian Association of Local Governments by the head of the Food and Veterinary Service (FVS) Maris Balodis.

"Not only in Latgale, but also in Vidzeme new outbreaks of ASF are possible, so we will start the culling of pigs on farms. Inspectors will negotiate with the owners about the time when the culling will take place, than check the status of pigs. If the pig is healthy, its meat can be eaten. Farmers will receive compensation if they sign a commitment not to keep any pigs during the following year," explained Balodis.

Compensation for the sow will be €115, a gilt €65 and for a suckling pig €25. "This is the only way to stop the disease," added the head of PVS. He also said that it would be reasonable for breeders to change the profile of their farms and turn to the cultivation of other types of agricultural animals – poultry or cattle.

The territory according to the preliminary estimations contains 40,000 heads of pigs, while the total stock of pigs in Latvia is estimated at 350,000 heads.

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