Farms Cull Pigs After Fever Outbreak

ReutersDead pigs being prepared for burning by sanitary workers in the village of Rostovanovskoye on Tuesday.
A Stavropol region collective farm and nearby villages are culling around 7,000 pigs after an outbreak of African swine fever began to spread, and the nearby city of Sochi said it had allotted 4 million rubles ($126,000) to contain an outbreak there.

The disease, which is still prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, has been largely eradicated in the rest of the world, although there was a major outbreak in the Caucasus in 2007. The disease is not dangerous to humans.

A Stavropol region veterinary official told Interfax that 1,000 animals were culled Wednesday at the Rostovanovsky collective farm, bringing the total to around 2,600. The farm had 6,500 pigs, and there are another 640 within the quarantine zone, said Viktor Sankin, the region's head veterinarian.

Krasnodar Deputy Governor Vladimir Kharlamov said Tuesday that 10 pigs had died in his region, apparently of African swine fever, and a quarantine was opened to contain the outbreak.

The disease was first detected Jan. 8, and about 200 pigs have died of the infection. An earlier outbreak in the Stavropol region in October was contained, the report said. Four collective farm workers have been charged with violations of veterinary regulations for the earlier outbreak in the Gorkaya Balka village.

A major outbreak in the Caucasus region prompted a scare in 2007, and Georgian authorities killed some 30,000 pigs after the UN warned that it could cause an economic disaster for the region.

The disease was first reported in Russia after several wild boars were shot in late 2007 in Chechnya, Interfax reported. The nearby republics of Ingushetia, North Ossetia and the Orenburg region also registered cases.