African Swine Fever buffer zone increased in Lithuania

Vilnius, May 26 (ELTA) - African Swine Fever (ASF) is not yet withdrawing from Lithuania as new cases of the disease are detected in wild boars every week, thus the ASF buffer zone has been expanded.

Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (VMVT) Darius Remeika has signed a decree increasing the ASF buffer zone after taking into consideration the ASF situation in the country, the spread of the disease in wildlife, evaluating the risks and last year's experience.

Earlier experience suggests that there is a greater risk of ASF spreading into pig farms in the summer hence June-September is the highest risk period for pig farmers. The buffer zone is an area where tighter supervision measures and the strictest biological safety requirements apply for pig farms.

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The expanded ASF buffer zone additionally includes: Kurkliai and Kavarskas elderships in Anyksciai district municipality, Birstonas municipality, Elektrenai municipality, Kaunas city and district municipalities, Kedainiai district municipality, Pakruojis district municipality, Panevezys city and district municipalities, Pasvalys district municipality, Prienai district municipality, Sirvintos district municipality, Ukmerge district municipality, Vilnius city and district municipalities.

The VMVT notes that currently small non-commercial pig farms pose the biggest risk of further spread of ASF. According to statistics, ASF outbreak was detected in 5 such locations in 2014, 13 in 2015, 19 in 2016 and so far 1 in 2017. The disease spread there due to failure to observe biological safety requirements. Therefore, pig farmers should evaluate and decide whether to invest and improve biological safety requirements or to take advantage of state support and slaughter the pigs.

Based on the data of the VMVT, this week ASF was detected in four wild boars - two hunted and two fallen.

Source: ELTA