After four days when the country's borders were closed to Lithuanian pork products, Estonia's Veterinary and Food Board lifted the ban and established a buffer zone in southern counties as fears of African swine fever, an agricultural disease, spread, news.err.ee informs.
© Reuters/Scanpix

After a first-ever case of the African swine fever was reported in Poland, setting off a wave of animal destructions in neighbouring countries, the Estonian Veterinary and Food Board announced temporary protective measures effective on 24 July, Postimees daily reported. But the ban was lifted on Monday after assurances were received regarding the supply chain of what little Lithuanian pork products there were in the country.

Most supermarket chains reported only a scant few products. They had not started destroying merchandise as they were waiting to see whether the European Commission would approve the temporary ban, Postimees reports.

No virus has been found in Estonia yet. But Latvia and Lithuania have reported cases, with Lithuania taking steps to destroy thousands of livestock this week. The case in Latvia was in a dead wild pig, in Ergeme municipality near the Estonian-Latvian border towns of Valga and Valka. Latvia's veterinary board director says the diseases moving north at a speed of 300 kilometres a year, uudised.err.ee reports.

The buffer zone established on Tuesday covers parts of Valga and Viljandi counties. "The buffer zone means that hogs that move outside the zone are subject to additional conditions," said Head of Estonia's Veterinary and Food Board Ago Partel on Tuesday - only pigs that were raised on the same farm or were kept there at least 30 days and underwent a lab test within 15 days of being shipped out can leave the farm.

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