Starting January 2013 the government of Russia is planning to introduce compulsory insurance for pig farms against the outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF).
According to officials, this measure will be introduced in the most affected regions first. Currently, after identifying of the source of ASF on a farm, Russian authorities completely destroy all livestock and compensate all losses to the farmer.
In one Krasnodar region over the past six months 350 million rubles (US$ 11.2 mln) was allocated as a compensation for farmers. According to the authorities, if the situation with ASF worsens in the near future, the compulsory insurance of pig livestock will be introduced already in 2012. "Now, the veterinary department of the country is calculating the potential for reducing losses due to the ASF. It is possible that one way of redistributing the risks is through compulsory insurance that will be implemented in 2012," says the chairman of the association Agro-Industrial Union of Kuban Igor Lobach.
However, the farmers themselves have opposed the measure. "Pig producers realise that they must have this insurance, but now it's too expensive. Its price can be up to 5% of the cost of livestock. Therefore, we cannot cover it without government assistance. ASF cannot be a problem of one sector or one person. Emergency measures to combat the disease should not be so excessive. Authorities should discuss with the insurance companies the cost of insurance and the mechanism of payment of compensation," said General Director of company Marka, Peter Manuilov. According to plans the insurance will cover 50% of the losses of the farm due to ASF outbreak.
(By Vladislav Vorotnikov)