Bulgarian PM: Spread of African Swine Fever a global problem

Bulgarian PM: Spread of African Swine Fever a global problem

The spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) is not only a regional but also a global problem, which means huge losses for the countries concerned and which could have a lasting impact not only on a particular sector, but on entire economies and trade partnerships, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on September 10.

In talks with European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, Borissov said that he considers it extremely important to co-ordinate action in the fight against ASF in Europe.

Andriukaitis is in Sofia for a meeting of ministers from the region to discuss the fight against ASF.

“In Bulgaria, we are taking all measures to limit the spread of ASF,” Borissov told Andriukaitis.

Borissov said that a plan prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests is being implemented for this purpose, which includes enhanced control of border checkpoints, biosecurity measures in pig holdings, information campaign, disinfection of areas and products, ongoing epizootic surveillance and reduction of the wild boar population.

He said that serious financial resources are being used to implement these measures in full force.

The Bulgarian government had allocated 28 million leva (about 14 million euro) to pay benefits and implement measures to curb and eradicate ASF in Bulgaria.

In accordance with the European Commission procedure, a partial refinancing of the costs incurred is carried out.

Borissov expressed hope that the European Commission would start reimbursing the costs incurred by Bulgaria in managing various animal diseases, including ASF, as soon as possible.

He expressed confidence that the expert meeting on ASF, hosted in Sofia, would contribute to the development of a Global Strategy for the Control and Eradication of African Swine Fever./ibna