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Russian authorities culled 1 million pigs after ASF cases

About one million pigs had to be culled on commercial farms in Russia where African swine fever (ASF) had been detected for a period of over a year. The General Director of the National Pig Union Yuri Kovalev announced it at the 13th International Workshop on Pig Production - 2021.

Russian authorities culled 1 million pigs after ASF cases
Aleksei Chumak / Veterinary Medicine and Life

The head of the union noted that the ASF situations had worsened on large commercial farms since November 2020, prompting pig producers to slaughter at least a million pigs to control the virus.  “Compared to the last 10 years we only slaughtered 2 million pigs,” added Yuri Kovalev.

He emphasized that in the future, due to massive culls pig producers may be going into a pork deficit estimated at 300,000 tons of meat.

According to the National Pig Union, due to outbreaks of epizootic diseases the losses are currently estimated at 200,000-220,000 tons of meat, said Yuri Kovalev. He added that 75% of losses are caused by the outbreaks of African swine fever, and the rest 25% are due to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) disease.

The decline of pork production volumes in Russia has been mostly caused by outbreaks of epizootic diseases.

Over the nine months (from January to September 2021), the increase in pork production was only 0.5% compared to the same period in 2020. This is the lowest growth rate in pork production over the past five years, the union stated.

“Everyone was just shocked with such results for nine months,” commented Yuri Kovalev. He explained that, traditionally, the Russian pig producers have always been showing an increase in production.

Russian live pig production amounted to 3,574.5 tons of pork from January to September 2021. Russia produced 3,557 tons of pork in the same period of the previous year.

Yuri Kovalev stressed that compared to September 2020, pork production fell 7% in September 2021.

A drop in production volumes was also due to decrease in the weight of commercial pigs as a result of abnormal heat wave which lasted for more than two months in the central regions of Russia.

However, Yuri Kovalev said that by the end of 2021, thanks to new projects pork production is expected to increase and will equal around 250,000 tons. This will allow the pig sector to end the year with positive figures.

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Situation reports, 14 Dec 2021 14:10
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