For the fourth consecutive month, strict measures against African swine fever in Bulgaria are applied. So much time has passed and since the first outbreak of the disease in the village of Tutrakantsi in Varna was found in September. Up to now, the outbreaks are three, the other two being in the villages of Kaynardja, Silistra and Balgarevo, Dobrich region. Hundreds are the dead pigs – domestic and wild, as the disease was detected in both types. The killing is done according to certain rules, but the farmers continue to worry about the burial of the animals. According to them, there is a great danger that it will lead to the spread of the disease. “Especially disturbing are groundwater. When a pig is buried, it is quite possible that the virus penetrates the water and then infects the pigs in the industrial pig farms.” commented for Agrozona media, Milena Mitova, who runs a 12,000 pig farm near Targovishte.
According to the requirements, if it is found outbreak of ASF on the farm all animals must be buried in the site. “Given that we use groundwater, however, it is very likely that we will infect the water. The state says that what was on the farm should remain there in order to not spread the disease. We turn around in an enchanted circle that has no exit, “Mitova is categorical. According to her, in this way, from one farm, the infection can very easily reach another farm.
The disease can come from anywhere
Since May last year the state has begun to prepare the farmers for the disease and the prevention against it. All pig breeders strictly apply the measures determined by the authorities. Restricting the access of all people to the farm, almost no one has access. Specifically, in Milena Motiva’s farm is built a two meter concrete fence and strict disinfection measures are taken. But her farm is close to the neighboring village, which is home to dozens of pigs in home yards. There is also a reserve full of wild pigs nearby, so the disease can come from anywhere.
“We take action but there is no guarantee. Animals can also get infected through the water, through the feed as well. In three Romanian sites, the contamination has slipped through the water sources, “says Mitova.
She is categorical that they do regular water tests, but not through the criteria for this disease. Explores for E. coli, salmonella. The main focus is on zoonoses – the diseases that occur on animals and are transferred to humans. However, it is very difficult to detect ASF through water samples. “We do not know if there is a laboratory at all to do such a test we use only groundwater, and they are the most dangerous. As a whole, in Bulgaria there is no pigs complex that is not with its own water source, “Milena Mitova added.
As a preventive measure she considers the use of filters and generators for water purification. Such facilities can solve the problem and we will be able to secure it, Milena added.
Simplified registration regime for backyard
Besides the strict measures taken by the farmers, it is also necessary at the state level, the prevention should be as strict as possible, says Milena Mitova. One of the things are sanitary measures on border control. Better disinfection is required. “Specifically across the Turkish border, the level of security is extremely low. It has to be explained, we have to work with the mayors in settlements “. The main thing that needs to be explained to people is the need for backyard registration. But for this, a regime is also needed, according to Mitova. “These people do not need filters, the animals are in the house. They do not need disinfection sites, but there must be a register to know who is growing pigs at his own yard. In addition, training is needed to explain to farmers that not to feed animals with household waste. „The situation with the import of meat is also dangerous. There is constant import from Romania. Once the disease reaches the wild pigs, then the suspicions about the staff as a potential transmitter of the disease and especially those who go hunting, the farmer is categorical. All measures are for one purpose – to save the animals. With only one diseased pig, all pigs in the complex must be killed – no cure or vaccine. For a farm like Milena Mitova, ASF means that more than 25 people will remain in the street.