UN warns for ASF outbreak in Georgia
The United Nations have warned for the possible
implications of the African Swine Fever outbreak in the former Soviet republic
"This is a dramatic development in the international distribution of African
Swine Fever, which has been almost entirely confined to sub-Saharan Africa since
1990," said Jan Slingenbergh, senior animal health officer of the UN Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The highly contagious viral disease
of pigs causes fever and results in very high pig mortality. Its effects on
commercial and smallholder pig production can be catastrophic.
is no vaccine against the disease, which can only be stamped
"The incursion of ASF is of great
concern for Georgia and its neighbouring countries," Slingenbergh
"Delayed detection of the virus has resulted in a long danger
period where the disease has been unrecognized and the virus could have moved to
neighbouring countries. Armenia, Azerbaidjan and the Russian Federation should
be on high alert," he added.
It is probable
that the virus has entered Georgia through imported frozen or processed pig
meat. In the past, in some countries swill feeding, in particular swill
originating from aircraft and ships, has been incriminated as a major source of
The European Union, the World Organisation for Animal
Health and FAO will send a joint team of experts to Georgia in the next days to
assess the situation and advise the government on immediate control
Georgia reported that outbreaks have
started at the end of April in 10 regions spread across the country, the agency
warned in a news release. A total of 20,000 pigs in village and commercial farms
have been slaughtered.
Georgia has about half a million pigs, kept on
commercial and many smallholder farms.
More on African Swine Fever
can be read in the upcoming issue of Pig
â€¢ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
â€¢ United Nations
â€¢ World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
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