Latvia orders pig cull to stem African swine fever

June 27, 2014
Pigs are piled up on in the back of a truck before getting culled and buried on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt on May 14, 2009

Latvia ordered a cull of pigs and a 40-day ban on public events in its eastern district of Latgale on Friday amid an outbreak of African swine fever.

The disease was detected on Thursday evening when three wild boar were found dead by border guards near the Belarus border, the State Food and Veterinary Service said.

Tests showed two of the boar were infected with the disease, which is harmless to humans but lethal to pigs and has no known cure.

The disease is thought to have emanated from Belarus, and was also confirmed earlier this year in wild boar in fellow European Union members Poland and Lithuania.

Russia banned pork imports from the EU on January 29, after Lithuania confirmed the disease in two .

The EU criticised the move as "disproportionate".

Russia absorbs a quarter of the bloc's pork exports, worth around 1.4 billion euros ($1.9 billion) annually.

Posing a lethal threat to commercial pig farms, African swine fever has spread throughout the Balkans, the Caucasus and Russia since 2007, and is endemic to areas of Africa, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The FAO warns of "vast losses" if it migrates from Russia to China, which is home to half of the world's pigs.

Related Stories

UN warns over swine fever outbreak in Ukraine

August 21, 2012

The United Nations food agency on Tuesday warned that an outbreak of African swine fever in Ukraine could pose a risk for animal health in the region as a whole despite swift moves to limit its spread.

Poland struck by first cases of African swine fever

February 18, 2014

Poland on Tuesday said it was taking action to stop the spread of African swine fever as it confirmed its first two cases and the European Union worked to end a Russian ban on its lucrative pork exports.

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

April 18, 2014

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.