Nearly 6,000 pigs have been culled due to an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) at the Shuvalovo pig farm in the Russian Kostroma region. At least 3 production sites have been affected, the regional government said in a statement.
The Russian veterinary watchdog Rosselhozndadzor ordered Shuvalovo to suspend operations, even at pig houses where ASF was not detected.
Shuvalovo is the largest pork producer in the Kostroma region, breeding around 75,000 head per year.
Yuri Kovalev, chairman of the Russian Union of Pork Producers, told to local magazine Agroinvestor that Shuvalovo is a large farm by regional standards, since pig breeding in the Kostroma region is not as developed as in other parts of Russia.
However, a decrease in production at this farm will not have any impact on the entire Russian pork market due to relatively low volumes affected by the outbreaks and a general oversupply at the market, he added. In general, the situation with ASF is currently tense, but it is under control, continues Kovalev.
“Currently, a huge number of outbreaks has been recorded in backyard farms, among wild boar,”Kovalev said. “Shuvalovo is the first industrial farm to be hit this year. Even farms of this type are not fully protected against ASF, especially during the summer-autumn season. The risk of ASF outbreaks are traditionally higher then.
In general, ASF in Russia currently does not pose risks of hampering the country’s pork production, as it did last year, Kovalev said.
Since the beginning of 2022, more than 80 ASF outbreaks have been registered in Russia, with less than half at backyard farms, while the rest is among wild boar.
Sergey Yushin, head of the Russian National Meat Association, agreed that the present situation in the Russian pig industry is more stable than at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. However, in some regions, veterinary services fail to properly combat ASF, raising concerns among all market participants.
“Unfortunately, individual cases of dishonest performance of their direct duties by some regional services keep the market in suspense. Everyone understands how this can end because the huge losses of the industry a year and a half ago and the subsequent rapid price increase are still fresh in my memory,” Yushin said.