The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry launches a massive information campaign for people in the Bulgarian risk areas to prevent the spreading of African swine fever (ASF).This was announced by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Mrs Desislava Taneva at a briefing following a meeting with the Regional Governors from Northern Bulgaria, Directors of state-owned forestry enterprises, the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency and the Ministry of Interior. Minister Taneva pointed that the purpose of this campaign is to provide information for ASF prevention to every resident on the territory of the regions in Northern Bulgaria of Gabrovo, Lovech, Shumen, Varna, Dobrich, Silistra, Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, Pleven, Ruse, VelikoTarnovo, Targovishte and Razgrad.
Minister Taneva pointed out that by the end of the day the informative materials will be updated and supplemented and will be provided to everyone raising pigs in domestic conditions. The information campaign will be held for all people with backyard swine farms so that they are aware of the risks of spreading the disease. It is our duty to explain to them the risks they bring both to the areas they live in and also to themselves, the Agriculture Minister said.
Mrs Taneva informed that all of the 14 Regional Epizootic Teams in the above-mentioned risk regions of the country will gather for intensive surveillance starting from this week. The Minister specified that the industrial pig breeding in Bulgaria is well developed and that the disease should be strictly prevented from reaching it.
Currently, two disease outbreaks have been detected in the Bulgarian villages of Zhernov and Novachene. Dr Damyan Iliev, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, informed that 46 animals have been culled in the village of Zhernov and since yesterday veterinary specialists are working in the village of Novachene. He pointed that the meat of a pig, infected with ASF and being kept in a refrigerator, can also be a transmitter of the disease. Dr Iliev reminded that animals may not show the clinical signs of the disease, but to carry the ASF viruses. The quality of the meat of infected animals is poor. The virus may stay alive about three to four months in the places used for rearing the infected animals - the so-called “backyards” and to be still spread, Dr Iliev added.
The Executive Director of the Executive Forestry Agency (EFA), Eng. Miroslav Marinov pointed out that measures to reduce wild boar population are being strengthened, as those animals are supposed to be the primary transmitter of the disease. He added that the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and the Executive Forestry Agency will be concentrated mainly in Northern Bulgaria, with priority to be given to the areas of the outbreaks and the ten-kilometres border zone of the Danube River, as well as around the pig farms. The measures will be directed at stepping up wild boar shooting by individual hunting, as well as conducting active inspections of all infected areas. Financial incentives for individual wild boar shooting are currently being considered - 50 BGN per a shot animal, but only in risk areas, Eng. Marinov explained.
Information about ASF as of 8 July 2019 could be found at: