August 31, 2018 / 6:06 PM / 2 months ago

Bulgaria reports its first outbreak of African swine fever

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria reported its first outbreak of African swine fever on Friday, with authorities saying seven backyard pigs at a farm close to the Romanian border had been infected with the disease.

African swine fever is a highly contagious disease that affects pigs and wild boar. It does not affect humans.

Seven infected animals were found at one farm in the northeastern village of Tutrakantsi, village and tests confirmed the virus, the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency said, adding that all 23 pigs in the village will be culled and a 3-kilometre quarantine zone will be established around the village.

Neighbouring Romania has reported hundreds of cases of the disease in pigs since June, while China has also reported five cases of the disease in the past month.

Bulgaria built a fence on its land border with Romania last month in an attempt to prevent the crossing of wild boars that could spread the disease onto its territory.

The cases in Romania were among pigs kept in backyards and small holdings as well as several large private farms since June.

Last week it reported an outbreak at its largest pig breeding farm, saying over 140,000 animals there will be culled.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Susan Fenton

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