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Lithuania to offer financial incentive to cut pig farming

Staff Writer |
The Lithuanian agriculture ministry announced a plan to offer small farmers financial incentive to drop pig farming amid Lithuania's four-year struggle to contain African swine fever (ASF).

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The ministry is to offer small farmers 100 euros ($115 ) in compensation for each slaughtered pig and up to 1,500 euros to buy new animals as of September this year.

According to the ministry, the farmers willing to continue pig farming could apply for financial aid of up to 1,500 euros to improve biological safety of their pig herds.

The measures are introduced following the ASF outbreak at Lithuania's largest pig farm with a herd of around 20,000 pigs earlier this week. All pigs at the farm had to be utilized following the outbreak of ASF.

"The virus doesn't choose whether it is a big or small farm. This is a pandemic spreading throughout Lithuania," Lithuania's agriculture minister Giedrius Surplys said in a statement on Thursday.

It has been 4 years since the virus started spreading in Lithuania and neighboring countries.

According to data from Lithuania's State food and veterinary service (VMVT), 41 ASF cases were registered at the country's pig farms so far this year, compared to 30 cases at the pig farms for the whole 2017 and 19 in 2016.

ASF virus is not harmful to humans, but is lethal to pigs and boars.

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