Russian Miratorg reported ASF outbreak

Russian Miratorg reported ASF outbreak

Russia has been increasing pork production in recent years partially as it has banned most Western food imports since 2014 in retaliation for Western sanctions against Moscow. However, it has yet to halt of ASF outbreaks and this highly contagious fever among pigs restrains the development of its exports to Asian countries, including China.

Spread partly by wild boars, ASF is harmless to human beings. The outbreak was detected at a feeding station at Miratorg’s Ivitsa 2 pork production site in the Belgorod region, privately owned Miratorg said in a statement. Belgorod is Russia’s largest pork producing region. It has had several ASF outbreaks this year. Results of the analysis have been sent to a state laboratory and Miratorg has quarantined 24,000 pigs at the site to eliminate the spread of the virus.
If the outbreak is verified, all pigs at the feeding station will have to be culled, Miratorg said. It said it had notified its insurance companies about the incident and had started evaluation of the possible damage.

Miratorg has started quarantine proceedings at the affected farm, so as not to allow the virus to spread further. The company operates 27 pig farms in Belgorod Oblast and neighbouring Kursk Oblast, where it manufactured 409,000 tonnes of pork in 2016.The company has not revealed where the virus came from, saying only that an internal investigation has been started to identify the source of infection.The ASF outbreak has come despite extraordinary measures taken by the company to protect its farms from the disease, said company president Viktor Linnik in the statement.He emphasised that the company had become new victim of a complete absence of veterinary control in Russia backyard farms, as well as the uncontrolled movement of potentially infected animals and infected products throughout the country territory.To stop the spread of the disease, strict and immediate measures must be put in place at federal and regional levels, Linnik said.