Five restrictionary measures are asked by the Union of Small Farmers in order to keep the disease out of the country.
The Spanish Union of Small Farmers (UPA) are asking the government to take immediate measures in order to prevent the spreading of the ASF virus in the country.
As rumours about new cases reported in Italy have appeared, the agrarian organization has asked the Ministry of Agriculture to take five measures against swine fever, starting by banning the entry of wild boars in Spain. "It is unheard of animals being imported when, precisely, the last outbreaks of this disease have been detected in these animals that, paradoxically, are growing in numbers uncontrollably until they become a pest in many rural areas of Spain", complains UPA through the voice of its Livestock secretary, Roman Santalla.
Other four measures are seen as necessary to be adopted urgent, as mentioned in the letter sent to the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Fernando Miranda.
One of those, the control of piglets imports, has already been applied in Catalonia and UPA believes that it should be extended through all the provinces of Spain. The organization has also requested that all biosafety measures be extended to vehicles involved in the transport of animals, "as it is known that it is one of the most frequent routes for the spread of diseases in livestock", they have assured from UPA.
Fourth, the farmers have proposed that the Ministry create a Coordination Table with the Autonomous Communities and the entire sector. "The goal has to be to point out and share all the news and actions related to African swine fever," said Santalla.
Finally, UPA proposes that the breeders should maximize each and every one of the measures of biosecurity in the farms, in order to avoid a possible external contagion.
African swine fever (ASF) is a hemorrhagic viral disease, highly contagious and lethal for pigs with mortality rates of almost 100% of affected specimens, although it must be remembered that it is totally harmless for humans. Recently it has begun to expand alarmingly across the continent, with the latest cases (unconfirmed yet) appearing in Italy. Spain has been confronted with ASF outbreaks almost 30 years ago and the losses for the sector were significant.