According to the instructions on measures to combat African swine fever (ASF), the festival in Vitebsk must be cancelled.
This conclusion can be made both from the sanitary and veterinary rules approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Belarus in 2009 and the recommendations on preventing the further ASF spread adopted in Russia in 1980 that are still in force.
Both documents prohibit mass events and impose traffic and travel restrictions in the “dangerous zone 1”.
According to Narodnye Novosti Vitesbka, this zone includes the territory within a radius of 40 km from the site of the outbreak (the village of Kotsi in the Vitesbsk region). The territory covers Vitebsk and parts of Liozna, Sianno, Dubrovna and Orsha districts.
“The following restrictions must be imposed in the dangerous zone 1:
– a ban on the movement of pigs, free ranging, uncontrolled slaughter, selling pork without permission of the head (a deputy head) of the district or city veterinary station;
– a ban on selling, bringing to organisations and settlements and taking out other animal species, including birds, without permission of the head (a deputy head) of the district or city veterinary station; a ban on selling meat and other animal products on markets. Selling of animal products is only allowed under control of agencies of the Belarusian state veterinary service;
– a ban on holding fairs, exhibitions and other events that suppose moving and gathering of animals;
– a ban on sending animal products and raw materials of animal origin by mail;
– travel and traffic restrictions,” the instruction of the Belarusian Ministry of Agriculture says.
The 22nd festival Slavonic Bazaar is due to take place in Vitebsk on July 11—15. The festival programme was reduced to five days this year. Under the Ministry's instruction, the festival that attracts crowds of people and a large number of vehicles must be cancelled.
The information about the outbreak of ASF in the Vitebsk region was officially confirmed by the Belarusian authorities yesterday. The department for the veterinary and food control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food suspended exports of domestic and wild pigs, meat and all products of such animals from the Vitebsk region. The decision was taken “in view of the increased rate of diseases among pigs in the region”, the press release on the Ministry' website informs.