Slovakia: pig amnesty as measure to fight ASF
The ministry of Agriculture in Slovakia announced that till Friday October 23, pig breeders have the chance to register their farms free of charge. "If they do not do so, their behavior will be assessed as gambling with Slovakia's food security." said minister Ján Mičovský. On Monday, October 26, 2020, a large nationwide intensive inspection of pig farms will begin in Slovakia.
Slovak pig farming is in mortal danger from undisciplined breeders according to the press release by the ministry of Agriculture in Slovakia. "These are those who did not fulfill their obligation and did not register their breeds. This makes it impossible to check that they have taken all measures before the spread of African Swine Fever virus (ASF). The Slovak Republic has been dating ASF since July 2019. To date, we record 298 positive cases in feral pigs and 28 cases in domestic pig farms in the districts of Trebišov, Michalovce, Košice-mesto, Košice-okolie, Rožňava, Rimavská Sobota and Vranov nad Topľou. In Slovakia we raise more than half a million pigs on 7,100 farms. Of these, 360,000 are located on 26 large farms. And it is these that the country must protect. Otherwise, the self-sufficiency of the Slovak Republic in pork will be reduced, which is now at the level of only 37%."
In connection with the pig amnesty, Minister Ján Mičovský emphasized: “I unconditionally ask pig farmers to use the pig amnesty and to register their farms free of charge by 23 October 2020 at the latest. If they do not do so, their behavior will be assessed as gambling with Slovakia's food security. "
The owner will find the entire registration procedure on the website of the Breeding Services, where he must download the form, print it out, fill it out, have it confirmed at the Regional Veterinary and Food Administration and send it to the Central Register of Livestock in Žilina:
If farm owners register, no sanctions will be imposed on them. Today, the State Veterinary and Food Administration of the Slovak Republic sends a letter to all mayors in Slovakia inviting them to inform citizens.
Each non-commercial holding must meet biosecurity conditions, such as:
- pigs must not come into contact with pigs from other holdings or with wild boar,
- Hygiene measures must be taken when entering and leaving the house
- hunters must not contact pigs for 48 hours after hunting,
- straw from the ASF area may not be used for bedding, nor may fresh grass and grain from such area be used for feeding,
- farm buildings must be constructed in such a way that no other wild boars or other animals (rodents, cats, ...) can enter them,
- any change in the pig's behavior must be reported to the relevant RVPS or veterinarian.
On Monday, October 26, 2020, a large nationwide intensive inspection of pig farms will begin in Slovakia.
"Unregistered farms face fines of up to 3,500 euros and the destruction of animals. If the farmer does not meet the biosecurity conditions, the inspectors shall issue a remedial action with a short remediation period. This is followed by a re-check. If there is no remedy, the breeding is liquidated, respectively. The breeder can make a home slaughterhouse, but he must have the meat examined by ASF, " explained prof. Jozef Bíreš, Director of the Veterinary and Food Administration of the Slovak Republic.
In the event of the occurrence of ASF in a farm with insufficient biological protection, the breeder loses the right to compensation or insurance. If the breeder is not registered, he will not automatically receive compensation and will also receive a fine for unregistered breeding.