19:55 / 18.09.2023.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Farmers call for Agriculture Minister's resignation over mishandling of African swine fever

Farmer Marko Majer

Farmer Marko Majer

Foto: Borna Jaksic / PIXSELL

Due to the spread of African swine fever, pigs continue to be euthanized in Vukovar-Srijem County. More than forty were euthanized at one family farm alone this past weekend. All the while, dissatisfaction among farmers is growing.

Many farmers in Slavonia are calling for the immediate sacking of Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković, and have even threatened to stage protests over her poor handling of the situation. Among them is Marko Majer, a pig farmer from Andrijaševci: "The pigs were euthanized on Saturday, and the Vinkovci Fire Department just arrived now at noon on Monday to clean up the blood which has been on a public street for three days. Individual pigs were infected with the African swine fever, which means that people were walking by and spreading the virus to their farms. So this was handled very poorly by the Agriculture Minister. Basically, she didn't do anything."

Just yesterday Agriculture Minister Vučković, took to social media posting a response to images released on Saturday, which showed some thirty pigs euthanized in the village of Andrijaševci due to African swine fever that were left out in the open for several hours. She acknowledged that the scenes were shocking, but added that the decision to euthanize all pigs in the designated zones was necessary. She concluded that Croatia is the only country that has made efforts to compensate farmers for the damages incurred.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković also joined in today, offering this rebuttal to dissatisfied farmers in Slavonia: "To criticize the minister or the government, which is acting quickly, effectively and in a way so as to compensate all pig farmers, not just for one euthanized pig, but rather we are working on a program that will support those farmer up until that time that they can once again begin to raise their own pigs. So, this is political intrigue that is being propagated by a few political nobody's in eastern Croatia. Like I said, we're going into an election year, and it's logical to expect this."

Source: HRT

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