Russia's Cherkizovo deemed free of African swine fever

MOSCOW, March 25 Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:14am EDT

MOSCOW, March 25 (Reuters) - Russia meat producer Cherkizovo said on Monday Russia's Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS) has confirmed the absence of African swine fever (ASF) at any of the company's pork facilities.

The service reported suspected outbreaks of ASF in the company's facilities in Penza and Tambov regions last week, while the meat producer said independent tests had come back negative.

"Absence of ASF was confirmed by clinical tests conducted at Russia's Scientific Institution for Veterinary Virology and Microbiology Research," Cherkizovo said in a statement, adding that all Cherkizovo facilities were working normally.

Medium and large Russian pig farms are usually well protected against ASF, which has no cure. The virus is most common at small farms and is spread partly by wild boars. It is harmless to human beings. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; editing by Douglas Busvine and Keiron Henderson)

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