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PM Orban: African swine fever, result of gross negligence

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea
Ludovic Orban

The president of the National Authority for Veterinary and Food Safety (ANSVSA) will be changed and we are currently conducting a procedure to identify a serious candidate, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban announced on Wednesday. 

He stressed that he asked the Minister of Agriculture to invite the ANSVSA president, Geronimo Branescu, to the Agriculture Ministry (MADR) because "unfortunately there is an important risk that will affect Romania as a result of the non-observance of the action plan on combating the African swine fever."

Asked what measures will be taken to stop the spread of the African swine fever, Orban said: "We want to deal with this topic very seriously. We must also start a very close dialogue with the institutions of the European Union." 

"Unfortunately, Romania registers 80 percent of the cases of African swine fever, which shows very clearly gross negligence, if not bad will in the prevention and subsequently in the fight against swine fever. For now, the Minister of Agriculture has been dismissed. So will the ANSVSA president. To the extent to which other culprits are found, they too will leave, and if they have a different form of responsibility than the administrative or political ones, I am convinced that the new heads of institutions will do everything in their power to ascertain this responsibility. As far as we are concerned, we want to deal with this topic very seriously, and we must also start a very close dialogue with the Commission, the EU institutions, and be serious if we have committed ourselves to an action plan with clear measures, with a clear deadline, we must keep our word because otherwise we get a ban on the European market. This is the risk at the moment," the prime minister said. 

He maintains that Romania is in this situation because of "the criminal way in which this pandemic was dealt with".

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