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Fifth Bulgarian Pig Farm Hit by African Swine Fever, Pork’s Prices Rise

The Bulgarian government said Wednesday that they would choose another 17,000 pigs after detecting an outburst of African swine fever at a breeding farm in the north of the nation, the fifth hit by the fast-growing virus last month.

The outbreak was identified at a farm in a village close to the Danube town of Svishtov. Over 100,000 pigs have already been harvested at four other farms in the past two weeks.

Sector delegates fear that the virus might wipe out the Balkan country’s complete pig flight of about 500,000 and cause damages of as much as 2 billion levs ($1.14 billion).

Bulgaria has so far detected over 20 outbreaks of African swine fever at industrial or backyard farms in the north of the nation.

Officers said that, in the meanwhile, they are not ordering the harvesting of all home-raised pigs; however, may have to take action if the rural inhabitants do not strictly follow the instructions of the veterinary authorities.

On Monday, 20km sanitary zones around all registered industrial pig farms were set up. Home breeding of pigs without bio-safety measures isn’t permitted in these zones.

Delegates appealed to the people in the affected areas not to attempt to cover or sell their pigs.

Bulgaria is one of the poorest EU member states, and nearly every family in rural areas keeps home-raised pigs.

The nation has further mobilized army and police forces to help fight the extremely contagious disease.

Analysts said that the cost of pork in Bulgaria has increased by as much as 30% in less than since the swine flu disorders and could rise by an additional 15% in the autumn.

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