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The Ministry of Agriculture banned feeding food waste to pigs

The Russian Ministry of Agriculture approved alterations to the veterinary requirements for the keeping of pigs, and veterinary regulations for combating African swine fever (ASF). The alterations will come into force on March 1, 2023.

The Ministry of Agriculture banned feeding food waste to pigs
Credit: Istock.com

The document has been published at the official internet-portal of legal information.

The key amendment, applied to the current veterinary requirements for the keeping of pigs (Decree 621 of the Ministry of Agricuture) is a ban on the use of food scraps in feeding these farm animals.

“The use of food waste for feeding pigs is prohibited,” the amendments state.

According to current veterinary regulations food waste can be used for feeding pigs provided “not less than 30 min heat treatment (boiling)” is applied.

According to Nikita Lebedev, adviser to the head of Rosselkhoznadzor, as he explained to Veterinary and Life, a decision to introduce a complete ban on the use of food waste in pig farming was taken to prevent the spread of ASF among livestock.

“Practical experience suggests, that the heat treatment requirement is not taken seriously. For instance, heat treatment is performed under conditions that don’t destroy African swine fever virus. Consequently, if the waste hasn’t been processed sufficiently, it can cause disease after being fed to pigs,’ explained Nikita Lebedev.

Therefore, it was decided to introduce a complete ban in order to prevent the ASF virus from spreading with food waste.

Besides banning the use of food waste in feeding pigs, the veterinary regulations on African swine fever (Decree 37 of the Ministry of Agriculture) have also prohibited the use of “hunting products obtained in high-risk zones”.

According to Rosselkhoznadzor, 112 ASF outbreaks were registered in Russia from the beginning of this year to October 11. 62 cases were discovered on farms and 50 in wild boars.

Information note

African swine fever is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild pigs with a 100% mortality rate. There is no specific treatment or effective vaccine for ASF. Following a decision by Victoria Abramchenko, Deputy Prime Minister of Russian Federation, a domestic vaccine against ASF in cattle has to be developed and applied in Russia by 2024.

Wild hogs are considered to be the dominant natural hosts of the ASF virus. Infection causes high fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea in wild and domestic pigs.

ASF does not present a threat to public health, although scientists presume mutations are possible.

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English version, 17 Oct 2022 10:54
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