Financial and business news from Bulgaria

EC Wavers Restrictions in Pork Production in 5 Districts in Bulgaria

The European Commission (EC) has revised and will lift some of the restrictions on the production and trade of pigs and pigmeat for five areas in the Republic of Bulgaria imposed due to the spread of African swine fever (ASF) disease. These are the districts of Razgrad, Dobrich, Kardzhali, Blagoevgrad, Sofia region and Aksakovo municipality in Varna region. This was reported by the press office of BABH.
Based on the high results in the fight against ASF in domestic pigs in 2019 and 2020, assessed positively in the audits carried out by the Commission, the last of which in November 2020, the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BABH) has repeatedly stated to the committee that the principles of so far, the existing regionalisation should no longer apply to all affected areas.

Another request was made by the Agency in February this year. It was discussed at a meeting of the EC Standing Committee on 15 and 16 March, where member states voted in favour of revision of EC Implementing Decision 2014/709. Thus, the Commission respected the request and as a first stage in this process revised and reduced the restrictions for the five districts in Bulgaria and the municipality of Aksakovo.

Communication between BABH and the EC regarding the other areas continues.

Bulgaria strictly complies with EC Implementation Decision 2014/709, which lays out the rules for trade in pork and pork products from countries that found and reported cases of ASF in domestic pigs. According to the Decision, the territory of Northern Bulgaria, the districts of Blagoevgrad, Kardzhali and Sofia District were categorized as areas of Part III (regions where ASF occurs in both domestic and wild pigs). The rest of the country is zoned as Part II (a disease found only in wild boars). The purpose of regionalisation and restrictions introduced in Part III territories is to prevent the spread of ASF and to protect the EU's single market and international trade.

With the new regionalization from Part III in Part II pig farmers from the districts of Razgrad, Dobrich, Kardzhali, Blagoevgrad, Sofia Region and General. Aksakovo will be able to benefit from relief in the regime for trading pork and products produced by local farms in the EU.

We remind that ASF is a disease with an economic impact on the pig sector. Meat produced and harvested in regions where the virus has been established is completely safe for human consumption.

At present pork meat originating from Bulgarian pig farms is freely sold in all retail establishments in the country.