The autonomous region Abkhazia in the north of Georgia has started massive slaughterings of pigs to prevent the further spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).
Sergey Bagapsh, de facto president of Abkhazia, said slaughter of pigs was the only way to tackle the disease.
“If we fail to undertake decisive measures against the disease, border with Russia might be totally closed down for our agricultural products,” Bagapsh said. “And this will be a final blow for our farmers.”
The Russian Federation banned the export of agricultural products from the territory of de facto Abkhazia on Monday. Russia has reportedly cited the spread of ASF in Abkhazia as the reason for the decision.
Bagapsh also organised a special meeting and promised the farmers to pay compensations to them.
Meanwhile, more details have appeared about the outbreak of ASF in Armenia, south of Georgia, have become clear. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) received reports of outbreaks at six locations, all in the northern part of the country, in the provinces Lori and Tavush.
The Armenian veterinary service reported a total number of 657 animals that died as a result of the outbreak and another 517 that had to be destroyed.
Measures have been applied, like movement control inside the country, screening, quarantine and zoning.
The outbreaks were discovered in the beginning of August this year.
South of the Sahara
African Swine Fever is caused by a virus that normally only exists in Africa, south of the Sahara. Also on the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean the disease is known to have been endemic.
The Caucasian region has been affected by ASF since the beginning of June this year, when the first outbreaks were reported in Georgia. There, about 30,000 pigs died and about 22,000 pigs had to be destroyed.
It is thought that the disease spread from there to other locations in the region.
Related news items:
â€¢ Armenia also hit by African Swine Fever (27 Aug 2007)
â€¢ “All pigs in east Abchazia should be killed” (23 Aug 2007)
â€¢ Georgia: more cases of African Swine Fever (21 Aug 2007)
â€¢ Was Georgian swine fever outbreak deliberate? (4 July 2007)
â€¢ Swine fever further spreads in Georgia (29 June 2007)
â€¢ Georgia: African Swine Fever is contained (18 June 2007)
â€¢ UN warns for ASF outbreak in Georgia (12 June 2007)
â€¢ Georgia confirms outbreak of African Swine Fever (8 June 2007)
â€¢ World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
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(Photo: Institute for Animal Health, Compton, UK)