Belarus, Russia to put together Customs Union legislation to fight swine fever


Belarus and Russia plan to work out common Customs Union legislation on fighting African swine fever. The information was released by the Veterinary and Food Control Department of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry as part of the summary of the meeting of representatives of veterinary control services of Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and Lithuania that was held in Minsk the day before to discuss African swine fever, BelTA has learned.

The meeting was arranged upon the initiative of the Belarusian side in line with the agreement that Belarusian Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats and top executives of the Russian Agriculture Ministry and the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Control (Rosselkhoznadzor) reached on 3 July. Participants of the Minsk meeting discussed the epizootic situation regarding African swine fever in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, the European Union and the rest of the world.

The situation around African swine fever is virtually the same for everyone, noted participants of the meeting. As a rule, the disease propagates via the food chain and via wildlife. The latter represents a serious threat because it is impossible to control the propagation of the virus in the wild. As for Belarus and Russia, it was noted that these countries should take a closer look at personal subsidiary plots of their citizens.

“The sides discussed topical aspects of cooperation between the participating states of the meeting regarding the prevention of proliferation and the liquidation of African swine fever. The participants agreed to unite efforts to fight the fever,” BelTA has been told. Participants of the session have contacted the European Economic Commission with a request to hold a special session in September 2013 to discuss the African swine fever situation and measures to fight the disease.

The meeting praised the work the Belarusian side has done to minimize damage by the disease, liquidate and prevent the disease. At the same time it was noted that some bordering areas of Lithuania and Latvia are part of the threat zone and effective measures are needed to prevent the propagation of African swine fever in the two countries.

It was noted that it was necessary for relevant services to take joint actions to ensure epizootic wellbeing and fight particularly hazardous animal diseases, in particular, foot-and-mouth disease. Concrete steps for interaction between the veterinary control services of the meeting’s member states were outlined to forestall possible unfavorable developments.

The veterinary control services of Russia and Belarus reached an agreement on constantly coordinating their actions for the sake of eradicating and preventing the further spread of African swine fever and other dangerous animal diseases. The veterinary control services of Belarus and Russia have agreed to periodically meet to discuss topical issues. The sides also reached an agreement on working out common laws for the Customs Union in this sphere. Representatives of Ukraine declared their intention to accede to these measures.

African swine fever (Montgomery’s disease) is a contagious viral disease that affects domestic swine and wild hogs alike. The disease is transmitted via direct contact, via products made of pork, by ticks and mechanically (by transportation means, during the transportation of people and animals). No vaccine is available. If infected, nearly the entire livestock of the diseased swine dies out. The animals suspected to have the disease are slaughtered. The disease does not affect humans.