Out-of-pocket: Travellers to pay for disinfection


The Lithuanian authorities are making preparations for establishing a buffer zone at the Belarusian border, which may result in the prohibition on pigs breeding to local residents.

Aiming at maximal protection, pig farms have already taken corresponding measures. For example, journalists are not allowed to visit the largest pig farm in a near-border district.

Officers are also on the watch: crossing the border passengers and vehicles have to be disinfected. The Lithuanian vet services recommend imposing the state of emergency but as both the government and the European Commission are on holiday they are not able to immediately size up the situation. Meanwhile, the funds allocated by the Lithuanian authorities are running low. According to the calculations, in the mid of August the money might dry up, and then Belarusian will have to pay for disinfection measures from their own resources.

“The expenses have gone through the roof. We are going to introduce a special fee for every person or vehicle to be disinfected,” Egidijus Pumputis, Lithuanian Food and Veterinary Service’s employee, said.

The Lithuanian also hope that erecting a plot at the Belarusian border will also be funded by the EU. By the moment wild boars which appear to be swine fever carriers have been given status of chaseable animals within the 10-kilometre zone.

But local residents seem not to tremble for their pigs.

“Why should I fear? If they fell ill we would slaughter them,” Regina Zablotskaya, a resident of the village of Tabaryshki, said. “Belarusian pigs do not pop in our village then. We have nothing to fear,” neighbour Maryana echoed her words.

Trying not to touch off panic Lithuania is still paving the way for establishing the buffer zone: they have started recording pigs in private households.

The village of Tabaryshki might be located close to Belarus but the locals are keeping calm. The Lithuanian government has not taken drastic action in fighting against African swine fever but new decisions are unlikely to be long in coming.

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African swine fever virus (ASFV) is the causative agent of African swine fever (ASF). The virus causes a haemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in pigs. ASF does not pose a threat to life and health of people. Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia introduced a temporary ban on shipments of pigs and pig meat from Belarus. The European Union expressed concern over spreading the disease in our country.

AS/NJ/Belsat

www.belsat.eu/en

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