Following consultations with the European Commission, the State Veterinary
Authority has reversed its order for imported pork products to undergo
tests for African swine fever.
The special measures concerned imports from countries where African swine fever has been confirmed and were to have come into effect this week.
The European Commission protested against the decision on the grounds that it would destabilize the trade in pork.
It moreover pointed out that in all of the states concerned, African swine fever had only been detected in wild boar, not in commercial pig farms.
Czech importers of pork and pork products from states where African swine
fever has been confirmed will be held responsible for getting such imports
tested for the virus, the Czech State Veterinary Authority said on
Importers will have a duty to test all pork imports from Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Belgium and Poland are the third and fourth biggest importers of pork to the Czech Republic.
Failure to comply with the regulation will be punishable by a fine of up to two million crowns.
The Czech Ornithological Society is urging citizens to take an active part
in international Collision Count Week starting September 24.
During the course of that week people will be able to report glass panes which present a threat to birds and thus help lower bird mortality on the continent and beyond. Reportedly tens of thousands of birds die every year after flying into glass panes.
Many songbirds in Southeast Asia are now on the list of threatened bird species, having been decimated largely due to incessant capture for trade. Liberec Zoo in the north of the Czech Republic is coordinating an EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) conservation campaign involving some 200 European zoos which are striving to save these species from extinction. I spoke to the zoo’s spokeswoman Barbara Tesařová and began by asking her to explain why so many songbirds in Southeast Asia are threatened.
The Little Owl (Athene noctua, sýček obecný in Czech) has been chosen as Bird of the Year by the Czech Society for Ornithology. Though common in Europe, Northern Africa, parts of the Middle East and Asia, population numbers of the owl fallen significantly over the last half century in the Czech Republic, disappearing from farmland areas; as a result the Little Owl is on the endangered list.
The area of the Zlín region covered by special measures to counter African
swine fever has been reduced sharply.
The area covered from February 1 by special measures now covers just 40 percent of the Zlín district. The reduction was agreed by the European Commission following a Czech request.
Special measures had applied to the whole of the Zlín district from the middle of last year. Czech authorities are trying to stop the spread of the fever, which is fatal for pigs, from the population of wild boar to the livestock being raised on farms.
The Czech Republic should reduce the numbers of its wild boar population by
90 percent in order to prevent the spread of the highly infectious African
swine fever, Agriculture Minister Jiri Milek said on Friday. He said the
wild boar population should be reduced across Europe for the measures
approved to be successful.
The Czech authorities have ordered a cull on wild boar in the affected area of the Zlin region and a ban has been issued on keeping domestic pigs. The country is expected to spend 200 million crowns this year on measures aimed at containing and eliminating the infectious disease.
The environment in the Czech Republic remained unchanged in 2016, despite continuous economic and industrial growth, suggests the annual report on the state of Czech environment, which was debated by the government this week. The report also points out that despite growing public funding on environment protection, there have been no significant improvements.
The popular pig-slaughtering feasts which usually take place in February are going to start early for some pig-breeders this year. Farmers living in the area infested with swine-fever have been ordered to cull their animals in view of a growing risk of the disease spreading from wild boar to pigs in the region.