Commission keen to keep African Swine Fever out of EU
The European Commission has adopted a series of measures to prevent the transmission of African Swine Fever (ASF) from Russia into the European Union, early February.
The virus disease, which is mainly transmitted through ticks, infected meat, fomites or contact, has already been detected in pigs in Caucasian Russia since 2007. Incidentally, outbreaks have also been recorded in Northern Russia, near St Petersburg, igniting fears that the virus may enter the European Union. The latest outbreak of ASF was located there in January of this year.
The new directive
indicates that operators of livestock vehicles on arrival from Russia into the EU have to provide information showing that the vehicle has been cleansed and disinfected after the last unloading of pigs. Border authorities are allowed to inspect as to whether this has been done satisfactorily.
Should they find otherwise, the directive states that the authorities are allowed either to refuse entry or to make sure cleasing and disinfection is properly done.
The commission wrote: “Import of pigs and pig meat products is not permitted from Russia, however the virus causing the disease persists also in a contaminated environment outside the host animal and can be introduced into the Union with vehicles which have transported pigs.
“It is therefore necessary to adopt certain protection measures at Union level taking into account the risk of the spread of the disease, virus survival in the environment and potential routes of its transmission. In particular, it is necessary to ensure that vehicles which have transported pigs and which enter the Union from Russia are appropriately cleansed and disinfected.”
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