16 January 2018, Tuesday, 22:27

Peasants take axes and pitchforks to protect pigs from vet inspectors


New protests against anti-ASF measures took place in the Svetlahorsk district.

BelaPAN learnt from a woman from the village of Yelana that representatives of the veterinary service and the police visited houses of villagers and asked if they raise pigs. “No one tells us the truth whether we have African swine fever or not. They only give orders to slaughter pigs and threaten to issue fines. They do it to protect Belorusneft's farm near our village. The farm sells pork to Belarusneft employees at 44,000 rubles per kilogramme, while the rest have to buy it at shops at 70,000. They'd better sell us meat at 44,000 rubles, but they only order to slaughter our pigs. How are we supposed to live?” the local resident complaints.

Siarhei Haravy, the chief veterinary officer in the Svetlahorsk district, refers to resolution No. 758 of the Council of Ministers of August 28, 2013 that bans people to raise pigs in their backyards withing a 5-kilometre buffer zone around pig farms. According to the veterinary officer, the villages of Yelany and Khutar lie in the bounds of the buffer zone around the farm of Belorusneft's Svetlahorsk agricultural department.

The vet officer says there's no ASF outbreaks in the region. “If we had an outbreak, pigs within a 20-km radius zone would be slaughtered. There is no African swine fever in the region, but it will appear if people raise pigs. We are loyal to people. We set the deadline for August 21. Some lonely old women are waiting for their children to slaughter pigs. Some people ask to give them more time, but some are brazen. They attack us with axes and pitchforks and lie they don't have any pigs,” Haravy says. He notes the veterinary service is ready to take “tough measures” against those trying to deceive inspectors.

“It conflicts with the interests of the state. We have problems with pork. We need to provide Russia with pork under EurASEC and CIS agreements. We have to provide the Russian Federation with food and export our products. We need to earn foreign currency,” Haravy said.

He thinks the interests of the state should be taken into account: “It feeds us all, while a peasant with his pig feeds only his daughter or son. We have farms of 24,000 pigs, for example Zolak-Agro. Local residents there took our measures with hostility.”

Last July in August, villagers in the Svetlahorsk district had to slaughter about 800 pigs in the buffer zone.

Residents of villages of Vetka, Chachersk, Zhlobin and Svetlahorsk districts complained in summer 2014 about instructions to slaughter pigs they raise in backyards. The veterinary services of the districts claim there are no ASF outbreaks and explain the order to kill pigs with preventive measures.

Archive photo from pruzhany.net