Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said the Balkan state’s government will compensate owners who voluntarily cull their domestic pigs, as the country works to stamp out an outbreak of the highly contagious African swine fever.
Almost 130,000 pigs have been killed on six breeding farms in the Black Sea country in the past two weeks. Authorities have so far detected 30 incidents of the incurable disease, which is deadly to pigs but harmless to humans, at industrial or backyard farms.
Euronews reports that an African strain of the virus is currently sweeping across farms in Eastern Europe. In Romania, 300 new outbreaks were reported in July. Animal health experts are concerned it has the potential to devastate the continent’s pork industry.
Both Romania and Bulgaria have taken measures to prevent further spread of the virus. Hundreds of thousands of pigs have been culled. But some farmers in southern Bulgaria were reluctant to follow suit. Many did not want to kill their uninfected animals.
Analysts say the price of pork in the country has increased by up to 30% in less than a month because of the outbreaks and could rise by a further 15% in the autumn.
Via Euronews / Reuters