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WPC - Concern Rises over ASF in Russia

7 October 2011, at 3:15pm

GERMANY - There is little that Russia can do to stop the spread of African Swine Fever in the country, writes ThePigSite editor in Chief Chris Harris.

This was the stark message from the head of the Russian Veterinary Service, Rosselkhoznador, Sergey Dankvert to the World Pork Congress on Friday.

"We are extremely disturbed about the outbreak of African Swine Fever in Georgia and its spread to other countries," he said.

He told the congress that ASF is present in the Northern Caucasus and "there is an immediate risk of it spreading further".

He said it is in the Rostov region and the veterinary authorities have reduced the pig herds there.

"But we cannot be sure that it won't be exported through Ukraine to Hungary and beyond," he said.

He said that because there is no vaccine to control the disease there is little that can be done.

"We don't know if and when it will spread to the Baltic countries or through Ukraine to Hungary," Mr Dankvert added.

"We can't kill the disease because there is no vaccine.

"it is like cancer or AIDS and you can try to control it but you can't kill it in nature.

"If you kill the whole herds the ticks will be there infecting other animals."

Earlier in the conference Dr Alejandro Thiermann from the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE), warned that the spread of the disease could get out of control and he said he was concerned that it could spread to the wild boar herd in central Europe.