Logo Polskiego Radia

African swine fever detected in Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 18.02.2014 09:01
Poland's Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed that a case of African swine fever has been detected in Poland as the EU continues its battle to end Russia's block on pork products.

EU commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Ciolos (L) and Irish Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney (R), at the EU Agriculture Council in Brussels. Photo: EPA/Julien Warnand

According to a statement released by Dr Janusz Zwiazek, the disease was detected in a dead wild boar that was found about 900 metres from the Belarusian border, near the village of Grzybowszczyzna.

The ongoing Russian ban on pork imports from the EU was discussed at a meeting of the region's agricultural ministers in Brussels on Monday.

The first instance of the virus was discovered a month ago in Lithuania, near the Belarusian border and EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg argued in Brussels that the findings indicate that the outbreak did not occur on EU territory.

“The fact that the three cases which have been found have been on the border with Belarus indicates that this ... was imported from the East,” he said.

“So we feel it even more unjust that there should be this ban against the EU when the disease came from outside the EU - indeed from the very country which is imposing this ban.”

Borg said that at the very most, the ban should only relate to those countries where the virus had been detected, arguing that an EU-wide ban was disproportionate.

However, he said he was considering taking the matter to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), because Russia's stance “is in violation of WTO legislation and rules.”

Nevertheless, Borg added that he hoped that “we can find an easier solution through a reasonable exchange of views.”

African Swine Fever is not dangerous to humans, but it is one of the most devastating viruses for wild boar and pigs.

Poland's agricultural minister Stanislaw Kalemba noted that the subject of EU compensation for farmers affected by the ban had been discussed.

“According to our running count of these losses, we estimate that approximately 5000-6000 tonnes of our pork products are not crossing the eastern border each day, “ he told journalists in Brussels.

“I believe that there are appropriate mechanisms, reserve funds, which is why we put this matter on the agenda together with Lithuanian today,” he said.

EU Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos has said that compensation is not ruled out, but that everything depends on “the scale of the problem.” (nh)

Source: PAP, DPA

Copyright © Polskie Radio S.A About Us Contact Us