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Lithuania struggles with ASF

Lithuania intends to reduce the population of wild boars in the country from the current 60 thousand to only 6 thousand in a bid to stop the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), said the Interior Minister, Daylis Alfonsas Barakauskas, after a meeting with the government.

"Such a decision can be considered as a preventive measure aimed to avoid damage from ASF virus that could be extremely huge. Its main carriers are the wild boars, and there is no vaccine against ASF,"  said a the report.

Barakauskas also said he plans to ask funds from the European Commission for the construction of a fence on the border with Belarus, which will be intended to prevent the migration of wild boars.

According to the head of the Lithuanian Veterinary and Food Service, Jonas Milius, the amount of funds requested for the construction of a fence is 15 million litas (EUR 4.3 mln). He also added that about 800 thousand litas (EUR 250,000) will be needed for the purchasing of mobile equipment for incineration of carcasses of wild boars.

"We hope that we will quickly eliminate the outbreak, and the movement of wild boars will not be very large, they usually settle in the winter," said Milyus. Meanwhile, Ukraine announced that it stopped any pork imports from Lithuania, including pork products.

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