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Russia bans hog imports from Latvia

Photo: Gatis Diezins/LETA.
 RIGA, Nov 28 - In the wake of a classical swine fever outbreak in Latvia, Russia has placed a temporary ban on hog imports from Latvia, "Nozare.lv" was informed by Food and Veterinary Service representative Ilze Meistare.

The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance has banned not only live hog imports, but also pork and pork products thermally treated below 70 degrees Celsius.

"The ban could affect three to five Latvian companies that export cold-smoked, dried sausages and other pork products thermally treated below 70 degrees Celsius," said Meistare.

She also pointed out that Latvia currently does not export live hog or fresh pork to Russia. Live hog and fresh pork are mostly exported to the European Union.

As reported, Classical swine fever was ascertained yesterday in three farms in Latgale Province (eastern Latvia) - two of them are located in Piedruja County, while the third is located in Svarini County, Food and Veterinary Service Director General Maris Balodis informed yesterday.

''These are small farms. Swine fever has not been ascertained in larger farms that export their products. There were a total of 17 pigs infected with swine fever, which were liquidated. The infected materials were burned, and these farms have been quarantined,'' Balodis said.

He said that the quarantine zone for these farms is three kilometers in radius.

''We will also inspect nearby farm located 10 kilometers in radius from the infected areas. There are currently over 40 specialists from the Food and Veterinary Service working at these locations,'' he added.

LETA also reported, several wild boars shot by hunters in Dagda and Pasiene regions in Latgale Province (eastern Latvia) last week have been found to have classical swine fever, therefore the Food and Veterinary Service has issued a warning to Latgale pig farms and asks farmers to immediately report veterinarians if pigs fall ill or die.

The warning primarily concerns pig farms in Balvi, Vilaka, Baltinava, Karsava, Cibla, Ludza, Zilupe, Dagda, Kraslava, Aglona and Daugavpils regions, as the Food and Veterinary Service's representative Ilze Meistere previously told "Nozare.lv".

The Food and Veterinary Service has also asked hunters to report any dead wild boars they come upon near Latvia's borders with Belarus and Russia.

Classical swine fever is a highly contagious disease of pigs and wild boars that was last registered in Latvia in 1996.

Classical swine fever is not dangerous to humans.
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