A new outbreak of African Swine Fever has been recently registered in the Volgograd region. This is the second reported outbreak in a week in a zone north of the Caucasus.
The Russian Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Rosselkhoznadzor said that the Volgograd Regional Veterinary Laboratory examined samples of pathological material, selected from a dead pig, which fell in private farm in the village Svetlii Log of Kalachevsky area. News agency Interfax reports that the specialists identified the genetic material to be from African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.
Currently the farm contains 118 pigs. In addition, there area 1,730 head located in a 20-kilometer radius zone. Rosselkhoznadzor reproted that special quarantine measures are taken to localise the infection and prevent further spread of the disease. All pig stock in the threatened zone will be eliminated to stop the spread of the virus.
A week ago, another outbreak of ASF was reported in a different district in the Kalachevsky area in the Volgograd region. At that time, four pigs died in Golubinskaya village.
Scientists say that the prospects for ASF to spread further in the south of Russia, in particular in the Krasnodar and Stavropol territories, has now largely been exhausted. At the end of last year, total damage from ASF amounted to 3 billion roubles (US$110,000 million), the number of large farms decreased by 50% in comparison to the level of the end of 2010, the pig stock in the timeframe between 2010-2012 decreased by 35%, and it continues to decline rapidly, as farmers abandon breeding pigs. Rosselkhoznadzor also cancelled the licenses of many producers.
Experts estimate that by 2014, in the Kuban region a total pig herd of only 420,000 head will be left – which is only 40% of the level of 2010.
Northern European Russia
At the same time, the northern part of European Russia, according to experts in 2012, could become the centre of the ASF spread. There are more than 90% of of pig farms that have not implemented any additional security measures to prevent the virus from entering. In addition, Rosselkhoznadzor control remains relatively weak here.
Experts say that these days, ASF mostly threatens the Republic of Karelia, Kalmykia, Volgograd and Astrakhan regions.
(By Vladislav Vorotnikov)