Updated at 19:56,22-01-2021

Government ordered to restore hog numbers as soon as possible


Alyaksandr Lukashenka on Tuesday ordered the government to restore hog numbers in Belarus as soon as possible and solve the problem of pork shortages by the winter.

“What’s the problem?” Mr. Lukashenka said while visiting the Smalyavichy district, Minsk region. “It’s not like growing a bull, which takes 18 months, why, the population of [hogs] can be restored within a year. And we agreed to do this. Why, don’t you see that people are running around [and asking], ‘Give [us] pork!’ there is nothing to feed children with.”

Mr. Lukashenka criticized the government for failing to restore hog numbers fast enough. “You’re not ready, don’t tell me fairytales,” he said. “Why, you don’t go to markets and don’t see how pork has risen in price today. And while culling hogs, you didn’t think of disinfecting and repairing facilities and placing livestock there.”

Belarus' pork production has fallen sharply because of last year's outbreaks of African swine fever.

Belarus’ first-ever officially registered case of the virus was reported in the Iwye district, Hrodna region, in June 2013. Cases of the virus were later confirmed on a state-owned hog farm close to Vitsyebsk. Thousands of hogs were culled as a precaution against the spread of the disease.