Pigs from quarantine zones in African Swine Fever-infected areas in Ukraine will be allowed to be sent for slaughter and used for processing and further production of sausages.
That was announced in updated veterinary instructions aimed to combat the virus released by Ukraine’s State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service (Gosvetphitosluzba), late April.
Old rule: All pigs should be burnt
Previously, instructions in place since March 2014 had ordered that all pigs from affected areas should be culled and burnt, while pigs from the surrounding quarantine areas were not allowed to be sold, transported or slaughtered.
Boris Kobal, the head of the food safety department of Gosvetphitosluzba said that the old version of the instruction “was no longer meeting the needs of the time and required updating,” the service’s website reported.
The new instruction, he said, introduces new definitions of biological safety. It distinguishes between farms with high levels of biological safety versus infected facilities, and also specifies closed pig farm operations. It facilitates veterinary control during African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks, as it, not only allows healthy pigs to be sent for slaughter, but it also reduces the required limits of quarantine zones. This is because ‘surveillance zones’ are also being installed, where enhanced veterinary control is applied, but not as strict as in quarantine zones.
The farmers have welcomed the changes
Irina Palamar, head of the Association of Livestock Producers (ALP) in Ukraine has welcomed the adopting of the new veterinary instruction. On the ALP’s website, she said that it should gradually improve the effectiveness of the anti-epizootic measures.
Ms Palamar added that the permission to send healthy pigs for processing instead of destroying them was the essential change that for a long time has been requested by professional organisations and industry experts. The safety of manufactured meat, she said, can be confirmed by clinical tests.
Previously, instructions in place since March 2014 had ordered that all pigs from affected areas should be culled and burnt, while pigs from the surrounding quarantine areas were not allowed to be sold, transported or slaughtered. Photo: Iwona Markowska-Daniel
More power to regional phytosanitary offices
ALP spent a lot of effort sharing the pig farmers’ opinion to authorities and now believes that this has paid off. On some points, however, Ms Palamar said that even the new regulation still needs further specification.
The new regulation gives much power to the state service’s regional offices, which is believed to work highly efficiently as well as professionally, Ms Palamar said.
According to Gosvetphitosluzba, 2017 has already become the worst year in terms of the ASF spread in Ukraine with nearly 70 outbreaks reported since the beginning of the year. In comparison to 2016, which for the entire year Ukraine officially registered 91 outbreaks of the virus.