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Weekly Overview: Latvia Bans Cut Grass as Feed Following ASF Outbreak

29 June 2015

ANALYSIS - Following last week's editorial covering an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in a backyard pig operation in Latvia, news has arisen linking the cause of the outbreak to cut grass.

The cause of ASF on the Latvian pig farm is now thought to have been due to the feeding of grass. It is reported that the cut grass, which was fed to pigs at the backyard operation, contained dark stains. These marks are assumed to have come from ASF positive wild boar.

Following this finding, Latvia has now banned the feeding of cut grass to pigs.

This week, an outbreak of ASF was discovered in farmed pigs in Ukraine.

The backyard pig operation is located in Peresazh village, close to the boarder with Belarus. Despite the farm containing 180 pigs, 170 of which were piglets, only five cases of ASF were reported and this has resulted in only three deaths. 

It is still unclear as to whether the other pigs on the farm have been slaughtered as a precautionary measure to prevent further spread. The source of the outbreak is also not yet known.

Over the past week, ASF has also been reported in Estonian and Lithuanian wild boar.

In other disease news, South Korea has reported a further 64 new outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease with the majority effecting pig operations in the north west of the country.

Also in the news this week, Russia has extended its ban on imports of agricultural products from the EU to 5 August 2016.

The list of banned products is thought to remain the same.

Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, stated: "We took these decisions a year ago and are extending them in response to recent decisions of the European Union and a number of other states."

Lucy Towers

Lucy Towers
News Team - Editor

After graduating from The University of Sheffield, Lucy joined 5M in 2011 as part of the News Desk team. In 2012, she was promoted to editor of TheFishSite. With previous farming experience and a love for the great outdoors, Lucy has a passion for wildlife and the environment.

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