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Ukraine's pig industry may collapse amid African swine fever

Staff Writer |
Ukraine's pig farming industry is on the brink of collapse due to the epidemic of the African swine fever in the country, Agriculture Minister Taras Kutovyi said.

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"We should take emergency measures to address this issue. Otherwise, we will loose our pig farming sector," Kutovyi said during an emergency meeting with farmers and veterinary officials.

Among the key measures to halt the spread of the disease, Kutovyi listed the establishment of the veterinary brigades to monitor and control pig farms and the setting-up of special mobile complexes for the disposal of animals from infected premises.

Besides, the minister pledged to provide financial compensation for farmers to encourage them to slaughter infected pigs.

Since the start of the year, a total of 64 cases of African swine fever were reported in 15 regions across the country.

In the wake of the epidemic, a string of foreign countries, including Belarus, Moldova, Armenia and Romania, have suspended their pork imports from Ukraine.

From January through August of 2016, Ukraine's pork exports have plunged 92.2 percent year-on-year to 1,523 tons.

The African swine fever, a viral illness harmless to people but lethal to pigs, was first discovered in Ukraine in 2012.

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