Preliminary Data Reveal Absence of African Swine Fever in Azerbaijan’s Regions – State Veterinary Service

Business Materials 15 February 2008 15:22 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 13 February / Trend corr. S.babayeva / Preliminary examinations have demonstrated the absence of African swine fever in the regions of Azerbaijan, Yolchu Khanvali, the press-secretary of State Veterinary Service at Agricultural Ministry of Azerbaijan, stated

Monitoring covered Mingachevir, Khachmaz, Gusar, Oguz, Shaki, Ismailli, Shamkir, Tovuz and Baku.

The blood samples of pigs were sent to laboratories and its results will be announced later.

There was an outbreak of African Swine Fever in Azerbaijan's Nij village of the region of Gabala in January 2008 for the first time. The State Veterinary service announced quarantine measures on 28 January. The mass destruction of pigs in the village of Nij in order to prevent the virus will be completed by 12 February. Up to now, 4,100 pigs out of a total of 4,750 have been destroyed.

The African Swine Fever (ASF) is an expanding devastating viral disease currently threatening the pig industry worldwide. The virus is an icosahedral cytoplasmic deoxyribovirus (ICDV) of the Asfarviridae family. It is an arbovirus (transmitted by ticks) and is the only arbovirus that contains DNA. Wild pigs of Africa, mainly the warthog and bushpig, are the original vertebrate hosts of ASF. Domestic pigs are infected by ticks (Ornithodoros moubata) or by direct contact with wild pigs. Transstadial and transovarian infections occur in ticks. Recently, ASF caused high morbidity and mortality in domestic pigs in Nigeria and other West African countries previously known to be free of the disease. No protective vaccination has been discovered; hence, a slaughter policy with adequate compensation, strict quarantine of pigs and their products at borders are necessary to stop the current outbreaks of ASF in Africa, particularly in West Africa.

In 2007, African Swine Fever was found in Georgia and Armenia. The prohibition by the Azerbaijani Government imposed on swine import from Georgia from 7 June is still in force. Azerbaijan has no economic relations with Armenia due to the territorial conflicts connected with Nagorno-Karabakh.

Pig-breeding is carried out in Gabala, Zagatala, Shaki, Balakan and Ganja regions and districts of Baku.

There are 20,000 pigs in Azerbaijani regions, including Gabala.

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