19:34 / 19.09.2023.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Agriculture Minister says she will not bow to famer’s demand and resign

Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković

Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković

Foto: Screenshot / HRT

Recently Croatia’s Agriculture Minister has come under fire for her ministry's handling of the African swine fever outbreak, including the euthanizing of all pigs, infected and uninfected, on farms where the virus was detected.

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.

Speaking after a European People's Party meeting on agricultural policy in Brussels today, Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković once again reiterated that she does not plan to resign and explained why all pigs in the designated farms have been euthanized: "I don't think there is a veterinarian who thinks that if there is even one sick animal on the farm, that any other animal in the facility can remain healthy. We know approximately how long the incubation process lasts, and this is necessary to prevent the further spread. That's why we are doing this."

However, farmers in Slavonia are not only opposed to the blanket measures, but have also noted that there are consistent irregularities in the process, such as recent images released that show dozens of euthanized pigs strewn along public streets and left there for days at a time.

On Sunday 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 on Monday, defending his minister: "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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