Fact Check: Bulgarian Government DID NOT Release African Swine Fever To Eradicate Domestic Pigs

проверка на факти

  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Bulgarian Government DID NOT Release African Swine Fever To Eradicate Domestic Pigs Natural Causes

Did Bulgarian authorities release deliberately African swine fever so that they could set in motion a secret plan to eradicate domestic pigs? No, that's not true: African swine fever (ASF) is a persistent and highly contagious hemorrhagic disease affecting domestic pigs and wild boar. Despite strict EU regulations and control, the virus continues to emerge in new outbreaks in Bulgaria and throughout Europe.

The claim appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) published by @ros79628 on July 20, 2023.

The Bulgarian caption text placed on the picture, translated by Lead Stories' staff reads:

Maria Gabriel sets the plan to eradicate the domestic pigs in motion!

They released African swine fever on the pigs.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-07-27 at 8.05.35.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Jul 27 06:07:20 2023 UTC)

Although the virus is considered harmless to humans, the exceptionally high mortality in pigs infected with ASF, which reaches 100%, as well as the lack of an effective vaccine against the disease, necessitates the strict control in areas with an increased risk of spreading the infection to reduce the negative impact on the pig farming sectors.

The one blamed in the TikTok video for triggering the plan to eradicate domestic pigs, Maria Gabriel is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria. Her department is not responsible for agricultural decisions or decisions that can affect livestock farms. The source of the claim spreading among Bulgarian Facebook groups is a website known for spreading false news as Lead Stories debunked. Maria Gabriel has been the subject of similar attacks since the new pro-NATO and pro-EU governments were established. One of the main focus of such attacks is the suggestion that the Maria Gabriel would want to destroy agriculture and livestock farms and eradicate domestic animals. Similar claims have already been debunked by the Lead Stories team.

The article spreading the claim reads the following:

We warned that this would happen, and a month after the Denkov-Gabriel cabinet came to power, the killing of animals began!

A reported ASF was registered in Bulgaria in July 2023, where a backyard holding with one pig was found to have the disease in question after a laboratory test. As a result, all measures to limit the contagion provided for by law have been taken.

There is no evidence to support the theory that this disease was allowed to spread intentionally, and there is no information linking Minister Maria Gabriel to the spread of ASF in pigs in Bulgaria. A search with different phrases connected to the claim using Google News' index of thousands of credible news sites did not return any results from independent and credible news outlets.

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International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

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