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Romania concerned with swine fever outbreak

Romania is concerned with finding a solution for the swine fever outbreak in the Smithfield farms in the western part of the country, Agriculture Minister Decebal Traian Remes said on Monday.

“We have a difficult problem and we must find a solution for it,” the minister told a press conference. The authorities were accused of being overwhelmed with the situation in Timis, where two contagion centers were found in early August. So far, Romania had swine fever cases only in the households of the population, not in large farms. “We have a good legislation, but we haven’t put into practice,” Remes said.

President of National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority Radu Roatis said that the slaughter of the 37,000 pigs in the two farms could start on Monday, all procedures being approved. “I believe the slaughter by shooting will last 20 days,” said Roatis, adding that Romania has no other equipment and EU countries need it after the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. The two officials met on Monday officials with the US embassy to hold talks about the situation in Timis, as Smithfield is a US company.

The veterinary authorities confirmed the existence of two contagion centers of swine fever in Cenei and Iglis localities two weeks ago. Of the 33 farms owned by Smithfield in Romania, only 11 were functioning legally, the rest lacked veterinary and environment authorizations. There are 486,000 pigs in Smithfield farms. Smithfield is the leading pork meat at world level with a $11.9 billion turnover last year. The company has farms with 20 million pigs worldwide. The US company operates on the Romanian market since 2004, after purchasing the local Comtim farm in Timisoara. (