Lithuania plans state of emergency over swine fever outbreak

  • 2014-01-27
  • From wire reports, VILNIUS

A state of emergency may be introduced to certain regions in Lithuania affected by African swine fever. 

Government members in Lithuania will consider the plans put forward by the Emergency Commission on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

It comes after a wild boar hunted in Lithuania last Friday, Jan. 24 was tested positive for African swine fever. Russia and Belarus have impose pork bans from Lithuania following the discovery. 

It is proposed to announce the state of emergency in districts of Alytus, Druskininkai, Lazdijai, Varena, Salcininkai and Trakai. Operations related to the state of emergency will be headed by Jonas Milius, Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (VMVT).

Minister of the Interior, Dailis Alfonsas Barakauskas, all  measures will be taken to ensure that African swine fever would not spread to pig farms. To achieve this, wild boars will be actively hunted in Lithuania. It is planned to preserve up to 10 percent of the current wild boar population.

The minister also said that Lithuania would turn to the European Commission over plans to build a fence on the Belarusian border.

As reported, on Friday, Jan. 24, the State Veterinary and Food Service (VMVT) of Lithuania informed that a laboratory test of a sample taken from a wild boar, hunted in Lithuania, was positive for African swine fever. So far there are two cases of African swine fever diagnosed in Lithuania.

African swine fever is a very dangerous, highly contagious viral disease that affects pigs and wild boars. In the event of contamination, all pigs within a designated area are to be put down in order to prevent even more losses from the disease.

In 2013, African swine fever was found in Belarus, Grodno Region, approximately 40 km from the Lithuanian border.