Bulgarian Pig Farmers Balk at Order to Cull Pigs to Prevent ASF

Hogs in pins ( Jo Windmann )

Some Bulgarian farmers are refusing to comply with measures to protect the country’s hog herd against African swine fever (ASF). The deadline has now passed for owners of domestic pigs in southern Bulgaria to cull them as a measure against ASF, the Sofia Globe reports.

Veterinary teams were ordered to begin entering people’s yards on Monday to cull all remaining live pigs, the article said. 

The situation is challenging as many owners of pigs have refused to accept the order to “voluntarily” kill their pigs because there have been no confirmed outbreaks of ASF in the area.

In the Pazardzhik district, the mayors of 31 villages joined together to issue a statement in support of the action to help prevent further spread of ASF. The Sofia Globe reports this was a turnabout form their previous stated resistance to the culling plan.

The Bulgarian National Radio said 80% of the pigs in the Pazardzhik district have been killed at this time. 

Meanwhile, police in Sliven are investigating reports of unburied animal remains in nearby villages. Protesters are blaming the state for failing to exercise sufficient control after ordering the killing of pigs. 

“The job of the state was to provide a sanitary way of transporting this waste because people really don’t know what to do with it,” said Valentina Vassileva, leader of the protest in Krushare, a village near Sliven.

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