Croatian Agriculture Minister Defends Response to African Swine Fever Outbreak

Croatian Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković defended her actions and those of the national veterinary system against the African swine fever outbreak in Brussels on Tuesday. She emphasized that they had done everything possible to combat the disease and saw no reason to resign.

Participating in a conference at the European Parliament organized by the European People’s Party on Agriculture, Minister Vučković responded to demands for her resignation following media reports showing pigs euthanized due to African swine fever lying on the streets near Vinkovci.

She sought to provide evidence of the actions taken both before and after the appearance of African swine fever and asked if anyone had a better proposal. African swine fever, confirmed in Croatia at the end of June, is economically one of the most serious diseases in animal husbandry. It is highly contagious but does not transmit to humans. It can persist for an extended period and spreads rapidly. Euthanizing all infected animals is the only effective way to combat it.

The minister assured that direct and indirect damages would be compensated, and aid would be provided to farms temporarily unable to operate due to pig euthanasia. Financial resources would also be offered to those wishing to restart production.

Minister Vučković was one of the opening speakers at the European People’s Party’s conference on agriculture in the European Parliament. The EPP is currently campaigning for next year’s European elections and emphasizes its commitment to European farmers.

EPP President Manfred Weber stated that European farmers should not be taken for granted and called for their respect, decent living conditions, reduced bureaucracy, and recognition of the strategic importance of sustainable food production in Europe.

Agriculture is the EU’s first common policy, with significant funding allocated from the European budget. Minister Vučković noted that Croatia’s agriculture has become more productive and competitive since joining the EU a decade ago. Production increased by around 28%, productivity by 62%, and the number of young and educated farmers has significantly risen.

She highlighted Croatia’s adjustment of subsidy systems to prioritize productions vital for the country’s food security.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *