News 1611 views last update:Jan 26, 2011

Russia may lose one million pigs

Due to the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF), throughout the territory of Russia, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture is considering the possibility of transferring pig farms to closed operation mode.

This is in order to prevent further fever spread in the territory of the country which can result in loss of 1 million pigs – equivalent to 50,000 tonnes of meat.

“In order to resolve this problem we will have to transfer all hog farms to the closed type of production," said the Russian minister of agriculture earlier this week.

According to the official, the direct economic losses from ASF could reach 25-30 billion rubles (€600 million). Further spread of the disease can destroy the country's pig production, and the whole programme of livestock development.

"New outbreaks of the disease can arise where there is no proper veterinary protection of pig farms and where farm management violates the veterinary and sanitary regulations,” Skrynnik added.

Spread of disease
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has already expressed its concerns regarding with ASF spread in Russia. According to FAO experts, the disease could spread to other regions, including the European Union, Eastern Europe, and the Black Sea.

It warns that in the worst case scenario, the disease can even spread to central Asia and China – the last one having the largest pig population in the world.

FAO says the virus can spread locally and over wider geographical areas by moving infected pigs or contaminated pork products. (Evegen Vorotnikov)

Related news items:
• FAO concerned about spread of ASF in Russia (26 Oct 2009)
• Now also ASF in pigs in Northern Russia (22 Oct 2009)

Related websites:
• Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
• United Nations (UN)
• Russian ministry of agriculture (in Russian)
• European Union (EU)

Or register to be able to comment.