African swine fever found in Tatarstan
ASF is found in wild boars near Yelabuga
Tatarstan isn’t considered a safe region regarding the African swine fever anymore, claimed vice head of the Main Veterinarian Office of the Tatarstan Cabinet of Ministers Gabdulkhak Motygullin on 21 December.
“I will start with the unpleasant news: a mortality case of wild boars in Yelabuga District was found on Saturday. Samples were taken, a laboratory showed the African swine fever. The samples were sent to the Federal Centre in Vladimir to confirm the diagnosis, we are waiting for confirmation of the results of the tests.”
Around ten corpses of boars were found not far from Tanayka village. It became known on 21 December that the Commission for Emergency Situations in Yelabuga decided to place checkpoints in a 5-kilometre zone from the site the infected animals were found — employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will restrict access for both animals and people at these checkpoints. Tanayka, Lekarevo and Armaly villages are in this zone. According to the Commission for Emergency Situations, private households and small farms in the settlements in this zone have about 50 heads of swines. They all are subjected to seizure and further destruction.
Moreover, groups of hunters have mobilised in Yelabuga District to catch wild animals to prevent the disease from spreading.
25 regions in total are considered unsafe regarding ASF in Russia, Motygullin says. The biggest number of hotspots in quarantine is registered in Tatarstan’s neighbouring Samara Oblast. 261 cases of ASF have been reported since the beginning of the year, of which 154 are found in swines and 107 among wild boars.
“The greatest concern is that hotspots are reported in Samara and Orenburg Oblasts. Grachyovsky District is on the list in Samara, this district is close to Tatarstan. Abdulinsky District is near the border with Tatarstan, it also neighbours Bashkortostan, Bavly and Bugulma Districts are also near the border,” Motygullin describes the geography of the disease.
Motygullin himself recent travelled to Bavly District, he held a meeting of the Commission for Emergency Situations. Now it is necessary to raise the alarm and spread the information among livestock farmers through the mass media too, he notes.
“Illustrative examples” of bird flu
10 regions, including Tatarstan and the already mentioned Samara Oblast, are unsafe because of another dangerous disease, the bird flu. Today 14 hotspots are in quarantine, one of them is in Tatarstan.
81 outbreaks of the bird flu have been registered in the country since the beginning of the year. The outbreaks are reported among both poultry and wild birds. Tatarstan has had five cases over the year.
- The first one was in October in Buinsk District, 920 geese and 117 ducks were destroyed. Ill ducks sold without documents in the Chuvash Republic were the source of the infection. As Motygullin says, local farmer Mudaris Khayrullin decided to buy ducks in a local market to “expand the assortment” — as a result, he lost them all. “The example is very illustrative,” Motygullin comments.
- Another case took place in Muslyumovo District, Shakiryanov’s farm had 4,279 geese that contacted wild ducks. “The owner saw wild ducks landing, he is also a hunter, he sympathised these ducks, he said it was beautiful when wild ducks swam with the geese. While wild geese carry the dangerous infection — they contract it themselves but a few die, however, they infect others.”
- The next case is Tukhvatullin’s farm in Drozhzhany District where 1,242 heads were kept. The situation is analogous — they contacted wild ducks.
- Another case was in Fayzullin’s farm in Buinsk District, he lost 439 heads.
- The last and the most notorious one is in Zalesny agrofarm in Zelenodolsk District. According to Motygullin, after the bird flu was found, 175,000 turkeys, 85 tonnes of meat and 35,000 eggs were destroyed. “The amount of huge, the damage is big, while the reason is the same, there was a lake on the territory of the agrofarm where wild ducks landed.”
Foot-and-mouth disease, brucellosis and dermatitis
“When people talk about the foot-and-mouth disease, many have such a nice smile on their face. Because Gaidai’s famous comedy had a moment about the foot-and-mouth disease (Editor’s Note: Kidnapping, Caucasian Style film, the thieves were given a sleeping pill under the guise of a vaccine against the foot-and-mouth disease). But the foot-and-mouth disease is a very dangerous disease for people and animals. When people contract it, they have painful ulcers in their mouth, a person is fed through a tube in hospital.”
32 regions have the disease, Samara, Saratov, Orenburg Oblasts are the closes regions. Livestock doesn’t come to Tatarstan from there, even vaccinated animals. As Motygullin explained, if animals are suddenly brought to the republic from there, Tatarstan will automatically become unsafe and be unable to supply products to other regions. “It will be a collapse for the republic’s economy,” he states.
39 regions are considered unsafe where livestock has brucellosis. The same Orenburg, Saratov, Samara Oblasts again and Penza Oblast are the closest.
Russia also has nodular dermatitis, 23 regions have it. Animals in Tatarstan are vaccinated against it.
31,500 heads of livestock, 127,800 swines, 377 horses, 5 million poultry have been brought to Tatarstan since the beginning of the year. “It isn’t a simple task to protect the republic from infections with such a turnover... Many think we have enough livestock in the republic and they have no idea that such a big amount of livestock is brought to the republic,” Motygullin notes.
Is it worse in Europe?
Vice head of the Tatarstan office of the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service Yevgeny Ivanov paid attention to the situation outside Russia. If Russia has been fighting ASF since 2007, the majority of European countries were considered safe until recently.
So Germany was safe until September 2020. Ivanov notes that the culture of swine breeding “was very high”. But ASF cases started to be reported among wild boars in September, while today they already have 124 cases. Nowadays Poland has more than 3,500 cases of ASF, Romania does over 1,500.
“Unfortunately, Europe’s map has fewer safe spots,” Ivanov claims.
The situation with the bird flu is the same, he noted. This disease is widely spread in Germany and Britain. According to him, the number of cases there is even bigger than across Russia.