Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Lukashenka accuses "destructive forces" of using African swine fever to stir up tension

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Alyaksandr Lukashenka on Thursday accused what he called "destructive forces" of using African swine fever and its handling by authorities to stir up tension, BelaPAN said.

"We should not give these scoundrels an opportunity to foment tension in our society," he said at a government conference.

Mr. Lukashenka raised objections to devising a special program to alleviate the effects of the spread of the highly contagious virus. "I am flatly against more paperwork. One has to take specific measures and do what was proved right by experience long ago," the presidential press office quoted him as saying.

He said that the authorities needed to take a more selective approach to precautions carried out in areas where cases of the virus have been reported.

Mr. Lukashenka also warned that healthy hogs should be slaughtered as a precaution only at meat-packing plants, and that their owners should be either given the meat or paid proper compensation.

He expressed concern about the continuing spread of African swine fever in Russia, and also called for reducing animal feed imports.