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Pork Producers Association:African swine fever won't be halted unless tough, urgent measures are reached

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The authorities need to decide on the pig breeding method in Romania, for either the industrial system, or backyard farming, because the two systems cannot survive together against the backdrop of the African swine fever activity in Romania, argue the representatives of the Romanian Pork Producers Association.

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"The report of the European Commission following the fact-finding mission this February to determine the situation of the African swine fever outbreak shows that the authorities did not do their job, but this was so because they were unable to. They didn't have the tools, but also the legislation in force is not being observed, and I am referring here to biosecurity. (...) This requires a political decision," Ioan Ladosi, president of the Romanian Pork Producers Association told a meat industry seminar on Wednesday.

He mentioned that the Agriculture Minister's order of March 18 establishing the size of pig holdings on the territory of Romania, and which limited the subsistence holding to 5 pigs, was a first very clear measure in this regard, but was subsequently repealed.

On March 29 Prime Minister Viorica Dancila asked Agriculture Minister Petre Daea to reverse the order establishing the size of pig holdings on the territory of Romania.

"I think we need to take care of the people who have small farms and encourage them. Please cancel the order, let us return to what we had before and we will analyze the matter," Dancila said.

In his turn, Stefan Padure, president of the Association for the Promotion of Romanian Food, expressed his disappointment at the repeal of the order, stating that any decision regarding pig breeding in Romania must be taken strategically in the long run.

Representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Secretary of State Alexandru Valentin Tachianu, confirmed that the order regulating the size of pig holdings in Romania was repealed, without commenting on the reason, but added that the Romanian has a close bond to this animal and wouldn't accept to be denied breeding it in his yard.

According to data released by the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) in early April, swine fever activity was present in 197 localities in 19 counties, with 716 active outbreaks as of April 3, down from 914 on March 25.

There were 12 outbreaks reported in commercial farms. In two counties the disease has only been reported in wild boars. Up until now 365,486 diseased pigs have been destroyed; as many as 1,249 cases of illness in boars have been reported.

The presence of the ASF virus in Romania was first reported on July 31, 2017 in the county of Satu-Mare.

AGERPRES .

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