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AgriMin on measures to combat African swine fever: Gov't acted fairly, swiftly and effectively

Inquam Photos / George Calin
Raed Arafat Petre Daea

The government has always acted fairly, swiftly and effectively with regard to African swine fever, Agriculture Minister Petre Daea said on Wednesday at a press conference at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

He was asked whether the authorities took all the necessary measures to combat African swine fever, given that the African swine fever virus had been present for several years in countries around Romania.

"The Government has always acted fairly, quickly and efficiently. Fairly, because it has always been informed and has always decided measures within the Government. We have successively amended Government Decisions 830 and HG 1214 to create mechanisms in order to facilitate access the moment of direct action. This was done in 2017 and this year until this date. It acted quickly and fairly because in 2012 at the border with Romania, Ukraine had an outbreak, it is the first outbreak we have witnessed and which drew our attention - those simulations also stand proof - and we, the Government and the structures of the state, we have not stayed with our hands crossed because, from 2012 until the first outbreak in Romania of 2017 on 31 July attests to the fact that Romania has taken measures to prevent the entrance of this virus in the country. (...) ANSVSA, which is the institution with capacities in the field, intervened quickly, professionally and acted on the basis of the contingency plan - which was authorized in the country - and controlled this outbreak. From 31 July to 15 October, the virus did not relapse in that area, the area was clean, and the European Commission, through the specialized structures, decided that the area was free," Petre Daea explained.

He pointed out that there was no other outbreak of African swine fever from 15 October 2017 until January 11, 2018, but since that date another outbreak appeared in the area, the contamination being possible by products of animal origin that have failed veterinary control that entered the country.

The Minister of Agriculture stressed that the money for compensation to those affected by the killing of animals was not yet given, because "unfortunately, quite a lot and with great effects" was delayed on the budget revision.

Asked how he comments on President Klaus Iohannis' statements, according to which those who "completely faulty" managed this crisis of African swine fever would have to take responsibility, he replied: "I cannot prove my incompetence, and I am an authority and I, through the force of facts, demonstrate my competence and action in the field. "

"It is true that this amplitude of the disease is extraordinary. It is true that this disease defeated Russia and Ukraine, defeated other states, but they succeeded in passing over this initial moment of emotion, which exists at this time, and succeeded to stabilize with a very clear rule that we also use in order to be successful. We are all interested here, from the president of the country to the last citizen in Romania, to overcome such a situation," said Daea.

According to the data presented by ANSVSA President Geronimo Branescu on Wednesday, 781 outbreaks are developing in different stages in 10 counties, affecting 165 localities. Out of these outbreaks, 11 are in industrial holdings, one is in a slaughterhouse and another outbreak is in a Type A holding. Also, 40 cases in wild boars are confirmed.

The number of slaughtered pigs rises to 123,411.

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