December 8, 2017 / 12:08 PM / a year ago

Top Russian pork producer Miratorg reports ASF outbreak

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s largest pork producer Miratorg on Friday reported an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) at one of its sites in the Belgorod region in central Russia.

Russia has been increasing pork production in recent years partially as it has banned most Western food imports since 2014 in retaliation for Western sanctions against Moscow.

However, it has yet to halt of ASF outbreaks and this highly contagious fever among pigs restrains the development of its exports to Asian countries, including China.

Spread partly by wild boars, ASF is harmless to human beings.

The outbreak was detected at a feeding station at Miratorg’s Ivitsa 2 pork production site in the Belgorod region, privately owned Miratorg said in a statement.

Belgorod is Russia’s largest pork producing region. It has had several ASF outbreaks this year.

In September, farming conglomerate Rusagro reported an outbreak at one of its production sites in the region.

Results of the analysis have been sent to a state laboratory and Miratorg has quarantined 24,000 pigs at the site to eliminate the spread of the virus.

If the outbreak is verified, all pigs at the feeding station will have to be culled, Miratorg said. It said it had notified its insurance companies about the incident and had started evaluation of the possible damage.

(This version of the story has been refiled to fix headline)

Reporting by Olga Popova; writing by Polina Devitt; editing by Denis Pinchuk and Jason Neely

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