Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Official describes government's action plan for African swine fever as state secret

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Alyaksandr Kutsko, deputy director of the agriculture ministry's Department for Veterinary Control, declined on Thursday to speak in detail about the government's plan of action to tackle the spread of African swine fever.

While talking to Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) activist and farm owner Mikhail Novikaw, the official described the plan as a "state secret," said the BCD press office.

At the same time, Mr. Kutsko said that the veterinary service submitted daily reports to Alyaksandr Lukashenka about the results of its efforts to combat the highly contagious virus. "He described that as evidence that farm owners and peasants have nothing to worry about, which he said means that people should support the government's actions," said the press office.

Mr. Kutsko reportedly said that authorities ordered privately kept hogs slaughtered for preventing the spread of the virus to large state-owned hog complexes. According to the official, hog complexes are more important as they contribute money to the country's budget. He denied that hog complexes were hit harder by the disease than private farms.

Mr. Kutsko made clear that the government would not raise compensation payouts to households ordered to slaughter their hogs. // BelaPAN