African swine fever continues to spread in Moldova, authorities

The situation concerning African swine fever becomes more alarming. The virus is carried not only by wild boars, but also by infected fodder. A number of 17 hotbeds were reported in only ten days. Given such a situation, the Commission for Emergencies was convoked on September 19, IPN reports.

At the start of the meeting, Prime Minister Pavel Filip said the situation in the neighboring states becomes dangerous. In Romania, the virus was confirmed at one of the largest pig farms and over 250,00 pigs were killed. Only seven hotbeds were recorded in Moldova in 2017, but now there are 15 active hotbeds of the 22 hotbeds reported so far this year.

Director of the National Food Safety Agency Gheorghe Gaberi said bodies of infected wild boars were found in Ștefan Vodă and in villages situated near the Nistru and the Prut. The situation becomes more worrisome now that the harvesting of corn is to start and the fodder carries the virus after wild boars entered fields of corn and other crops. When these are gathered, the crops are stored in granaries and are then taken to farms and private households. In Crocmaz village of Ștefan Vodă district, there were recorded three hotbeds of African swine fever at individual farms. The people said they fed the pigs on corn brought from the meadow of the Prut. Most probably the fodder had been in contact with wild boars.

Gheorghe Gaberi said in the meeting they considered the possibility of killing all the animals in localities where there were recorded three and more hotbeds and the state will cover the damage. It was estimated that the sums will not be larger than the costs incurred for installing filters and taking disinfection measures in case of a hotbed. For example, in Mereni village of Anenii Noi district, about half a million lei was spent on these measures.

African swine fever is not dangerous for humans, but spreads swiftly among animals and causes considerable damage to agriculture. If the virus is confirmed, the animals are killed and the areas where the pigs were kept are disinfected, as are the areas nearby and the domestic tools.

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