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Lithuania Bans Live Pig Trade After CSF Cases

by 5m Editor
2 June 2011, at 9:32am

LITHUANIA - Lithuania has banned the export and import of live pigs after classical swine fever was reported in the centre of the country.

The outbreak was registered at a 16,000-pig farm in the central Jonava district and the affected area has been quarantined, according to TVNZ.

"We are still trying to establish the source of the outbreak... We don't rule out that the infection was spread intentionally," Jonas Milius, the head of veterinary service, told journalists.

"We asked the general prosecutor office to look into it," he added. He did not elaborate on why authorities suspected a criminal act.

Mr Milius said Lithuania had informed major trading partners, including Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Russia, of the outbreak. Laboratory tests have confirmed 63 cases of swine fever at the farm, the service said. The disease is highly contagious and has 80-100 percent mortality rate.

The last outbreak of swine fever was registered in Lithuania in 2009, the service said.

Lithuania exported 442,600 live pigs in 2010, with Russia accounting for more than half all exports. Imports were ten times less.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received an immediate notification yesterday, 1 June. A total of 15919 pigs were found susceptible to the disease, out of which a 100 per cent apparent morbidity rate was observed.

According to the OIE, on 1 June, in the central part of Lithuania, in the village of Šils, during an investigation in the pig farm of the joint-stock company “Ber𓍅es kompleksas“, an outbreak of classical swine fever (CSF) was confirmed by the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute (NFVRAI), which is the designated National Reference Laboratory for CSF of Lithuania.

Out of 63 samples tested, 36 were found positive for antibodies against CSF, 13 were doubtful and 14 were negative. All the samples were analyzed by RT-PCR and three samples were found positive. Further investigation is continuing by virus isolation and virus neutralization. Genotyping of the virus is being performed. The positive samples are being sent to the EU Reference Laboratory for further analysis.

All the CSF eradication and prevention measures have been applied in the outbreak and around it in accordance with the provisions of Council Directive 2001/89/EC of 23 October 2001 on measures for the control of classical swine fever. Clinical examination and all sampling and testing procedures are carried out according to Commission Decision 2002/106/EC of 1 February 2002 approving a Diagnostic Manual establishing diagnostic procedures, sampling methods and criteria for evaluation of the laboratory tests for the confirmation of classical swine fever.

A standstill regime for pigs is introduced in the whole territory of Lithuania for trade and export.

No movement and no trade (in or out) of pigs from the infected farm was done to EU countries, the OIE reports.

On all the industrial pig farms of Lithuania which export live pigs, trade in pigs with other EU Member States and move pigs within the country, clinical and laboratory examination starts to be performed.

State Food and Veterinary Services start the investigation of the outbreak and all the measures.

The source of the outbreak remains inconclusive.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on classical swine fever by clicking here.