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Wednesday, 12.03.2014, 23:19
Latvia bans import of animal feed from Lithuania in wake of African swine fever scare
Animal feed produced in Lithuania's southeastern regions have been banned, as well as reproductive materials from live pigs, including pig embryos, egg cells and sperm.
At the same time, there will be tighter control of animal products, especially pork products, on Latvian borders. Vehicles transporting animals will be subject to disinfection.
The Food and Veterinary Service also asks hunters to be especially careful, and report and suspicious wild boar activities.
As reported, the government today agreed in principle to allocate EUR 1.36 million for African swine fever prevention measures, as controls will be tightened on borders in an attempt to keep the disease out of Latvian territory.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, it is necessary to tighten controls on Latvia's borders, as there have been recent confirmations of the swine fever in Lithuania's border area with Belarus.
The AFP news agency reports that Lithuania said Monday it plans a mass cull of its wild boars due to an outbreak of African swine fever after neighbors banned pork import from the country.
Non-EU neighbors Russia and Belarus banned pork products from Lithuania that are not processed thermally after the virus was detected in the country last week, she told AFP.
Lithuania's government is expected on Wednesday to officially declare a state of emergency in regions bordering Belarus, which it claims was the source of the virus.
All wild boars hunted in these regions – all close to EU neighbor Poland – will be incinerated if tests show they carry the virus, which is harmless to humans but lethal to pigs and has no known cure.
Lithuania also imposed a temporary ban on the shipping of live pigs out of the affected areas, fearing the virus could spread to local farms.