News 911 views last update:Jul 3, 2007

Swine fever further spreads in Georgia

National control is needed now that African swine fever is present in 52 out of 65 districts in Georgia*. More than 30,000 pigs died and a total of 22,000 pigs have been culled already.

Controlling animal movement and slaughtering infected pigs is the only way to prevent the disease from spreading to healthy animals, wildlife and even local ticks, a UN food agency said. "With rapid and appropriate control measures, it may be possible that confined pig farms and even some districts can be kept free of infection," the agency said in statement.

Losing pig population

However, without such interventions, there is a real risk that Georgia may lose most of its pig population to African swine fever in the coming months." According to the agency, neighbouring countries have not reported outbreaks, but nations that share borders with Georgia should be on the alert.

Georgia reported that outbreaks began at the end of April in 10 regions across the country. It has about 500,000 pigs, kept mainly in backyards and small farms, the agency said.

*) Georgia, the country in Central Europe, not the state of Georgia in the USA.

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