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State of emergency declared in Lithuania after swine fever scare

  • 2014-07-28
  • From wire reports, VILNIUS

A state of emergency has been declared in Lithuania's Ignalina region today following the outbreak of the deadly African swine fever.

The Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture said will have to establish a special team to fulfill the requirements concerning the culling of animals. To receive compensations, companies will have to meet certain requirements and take out insurance.

African swine fever, a disease that causes high death rates in pigs, was originally discovered in Lithuania in January.  However, it spread to nearby Latvia earlier this year causing high death rates in pigs also.

A large number of dead wild boars were found in Kraslava Region's Robeznieki,  Indra and in Dagda Region's Berzini County last weekend.

Authorities suspect that two more domestic pigs may be infected with African swine fever.

Samples of the carcasses of the dead boars and of the domestic pigs have been sent to laboratories, the Food and Veterinary Service's senior inspector Dzintars Juskus told LETA.

Six farmers in the area where a state of emergency due to African swine fever was announced have turned to the Food and Veterinary Service asking that bio-safety measures on their farms be evaluated.

Also, increasingly more farms in the area decide to slaughter all pigs they have. "People are uncertain. Many would like to keep the pigs for some time, however, taking into consideration the spread of the disease, we recommend people not to risk it," said Juskus.