pigAlexander Tkachev, Russian minister of agriculture in his interview to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti told how the increased ASF virus outbreaks impacted the development of meat production in Russia.

The head of the state agricultural department admitted that circulation of the African Swine Fever is a serious threat both to meat production growth and pork export development of the country. According to the analysis of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, the financial damage of ASF virus outbreaks amounted to over 1.2 billion rubles in 2016. This is 13 times as much as the last year results, pointed out Mr. Tkachev.

The minister also reminded that the state spent 317 billion rubles in credit interest rate subsidies to develop the pig breeding sector over the last 10 years. This helped local pig breeders to achieve considerable results and increase export volume.

“This hard work can be derailed by simple disregard of basic rules of pig keeping in private households, which is the key factor influencing the virus circulation”, said the head of the Ministry of Agriculture.

According to Mr.Tkachev, private households’ share is 16% (3.8 million pigs) of the entire pig population in the country, which makes it necessary to provide appropriate conditions for animals’ welfare.

“We already have an action plan to deal with ASF virus outbreaks. The first thing in the list is to implement verifiable counting of pig population, which can be controlled by the local authorities and the regional veterinary service”, said the minister of agriculture.

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