Biosecurity could soon take precedence over pig prices for farmers, as African Swine Fever (ASF) threatens to take hold in Europe.
Around 130,000 pigs have been killed on large commercial farms in Bulgaria in recent weeks, after more than 30 outbreaks were reported, including six on large commercial farms in the north of the country, near the Romanian border.
These included farms with 36,000, 28,000, 17,000, and 8,000 pigs. Bulgaria’s entire pig herd of about 500,000 could be at risk, at a cost of nearly £1 billion.
Sanitary zones of 20km have been set up around all registered commercial pig farms, with officials ordering culling of home-raised pigs in these zones. Many household in rural Bulgaria keep home-raised pigs.
Pork prices in Bulgaria rose by 30% during July, and neighbouring Greece banned Bulgarian pork imports.
There has been a significant increase in outbreaks in Romania, with around 300 cases, mostly in backyard holdings, but including a 20,000 pig commercial farm.