EU investing heavily to prevent African swine fever spreading from Russia
The European Union will invest €1.4 million to control African swine fever on the Italian island of Sardinia in 2013. The island is the only place in the EU where African Swine Fever (ASF) is still present.
In the remainder of the European Union, the disease has no longer been present since 1960. However this year ASF was confirmed in seven of the eight provinces.
Italy has therefore asked the European Commission to help in the preparation of a modified and improved monitoring and management programme for the disease.
The European Commission said, ”If we can not liberate Sardinia from this pig disease, it will have a negative effect on the rest of the EU, both veterinary and economically. This is why we have made €1.4 million available.”
In total, €199 million is available for the control of animal diseases. The money is spent on vaccinations or new techniques to detect diseases quickly.
EU member states can also spend €2.5 million for control and monitoring of Classical Swine Fever.
An amount of €16.6 million has been made available for projects that aim to reduce Salmonella in livestock.
According to the Commission's meat contaminated with Salmonella still the second largest source of food-borne infections in humans. For bird flu is €2.6 million.
For tuberculosis in cattle the most money is available (€71 million), followed by BSE (€54 million). In total, there are 137 projects selected may use the money.
The largest European problem with African swine fever can be found outside the boundaries of the European Union. Russia has been fighting ASF for several years now.