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Another outbreak of swine fever found on farm in western Romania

EU

A second outbreak of swine fever has been detected on a farm in western Romania owned by a US pork producer, animal health authorities said Thursday.

It was the third outbreak in the country in recent weeks and the second on a farm owned by Smithfield Foods Inc., based in Smithfield, Virginia. The disease was found this week on a farm in Igris, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) west of Timisoara near the Hungarian border. The farm has 15,000 pigs. Around 18,000 pigs will be slaughtered in the village, said local animal health manager Viorel Agud. An earlier outbreak was found at another Smithfield farm in the village of Cenei, in the same region, prompting the slaughter of 20,000 pigs.

Smithfield has 25 pig farms in Timis County and other parts of western Romania. Smithfield said earlier this month it was taking steps to limit the effects of the disease and was cooperating with authorities in the slaughter. Smithfield is the largest pork producer in western Romania, where it has invested €800 million ($1.1 billion). The company bought communist-era state-owned pig farms. Though swine fever predominantly affects pigs, in very rare instances, humans can also catch the disease.

Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union on Jan. 1 amid concerns over animal health and food safety standards. The EU told both countries they would have to eradicate swine fever before they could sell pork in the rest of the EU without restrictions. (iht.com)

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