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Presentation of Yevgeny Nepoklonov at the International Seminar ‘The Application and Strengthening of Preventive Measures Aimed at Mitigating the Risk of Introduction of the CSF and ASF into the EU

Yevgeny Nepoklonov noted high level of transparency of the Rosselkhoznadzor activities in the filed of control of African swine fever aimed at mitigating current risks and systemic prevention of the disease further spread. This approach significantly differs from that of some organizations such as FAO which use only descriptive approach and do not suggest any actual measures for the problem solution.

Yevgeny Nepoklonov reminded that the disease agent had been introduced to the territory of Russia by boars from Georgia in 2007. Abolishment of veterinary control at the Georgian state border resulted in the introduction of the disease which swept the whole territory of Georgia and rapidly spread throughout the Transcaucasia. From 2007 over 500 ASF outbreaks were reported in Russia. Currently, African swine fever outbreaks are recorded in 33 Subjects of the RF with two endemic zones of the disease. The southern zone formed between 2007 and 2010, the northern zone is forming around the Tver Oblast. At present the disease threatens the European Union. It can spread by the northern route — via Belarus, Baltic countries and Poland, and by the southern route — via Ukraine, Romania and Austria. Study of Spanish and Portuguese experience where the disease was eradicated in the middle of 1980-s owing to consistent and targeted measures is of great importance for the organization of ASF control in Russia. The Rosselkhoznadzor also takes into account the successful experience of ASF outbreak control in the Soviet Union in 1977 when the disease agent was introduced to the Odessa Oblast and secondary outbreaks associated with pork products distribution were reported in Kiev and Tavda. That outbreak was successfully and completely eradicated within one month. The main trend in ASF control in contemporary Russia, with due account for the international experience, is culling of affected herds and creation of a system ensuring maximum protection of pig farms. The disease control situation is complicated by the fact that in contrast to the Soviet veterinary system the current Russian veterinary system can not boast of an optimal structure. The existing structure of the national Veterinary Services started forming in 2011 when during the talks on Russia’s accession to WTO the EU and USA representatives insisted on the changes in the structure of the RF Ministry of Agriculture and its key authorities including Veterinary Service. The EU and USA experts insisted on a system that could to the maximum facilitate freedom of trade without any regard to the safety including epidemic safety. At these experts’ suggestion inspections of establishments producing regulated goods were limited to one inspection in three years. Besides, delegation of federal functions to the region level resulted in the establishment of quite autonomous veterinary services of the RF Subjects. Due to these innovations the national Veterinary Service lost its ability to ultimate control of the epidemic situation. Therefore, it has to switch from the systematic work to activities under the conditions of permanently developing emergency. The work of the national Veterinary Services is also complicated by the involvement of other authorities in the process of ASF spread control. In particular, the position of the RF Ministry of Natural Resources concerning depopulation of boars in affected regions led not only to the agent spread but to its establishment in wildlife of the country. The other factor facilitating the disease spread is the considerable quantity of backyard farms which do not have any elementary protection level. A certain breakthrough in the disease control has occurred only this year when the State Commission for ASF Control headed by the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Arkady Dvorkovich was established. Yevgeny Nepoklonov emphasized that the main principle of the Rosselkhoznadzor strategy of ASF and other disease control is the maximum transparency. Only the transparency can create an atmosphere of confidence required for the coordination of actions of all countries interested in the disease eradication. As an emergency measure which could contribute to the prevention of further spread of epidemic agents, Yevgeny Nepoklonov suggested that electronic systems of tracing live animals and animal products used in the EU and Customs Union should be harmonized. In addition, he emphasized, unification of national Veterinary System in compliance with the OIE recommendations was of utmost importance.

Sep 3, 2013

Categorys: African Swine Fever , Administration , Veterinary