Prosecution to probe Food Safety Agency amid African swine fever outbreak

Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov has ordered the specialized prosecution to carry out a check at the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BFSA) for possible malfeasance in office and conclusion of detrimental contracts in connection with animal waste disposal amid an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF).

In the course of the inspection the BFSA management will be required to provide all documents related to a 2017 procurement tender for the disposal of animal waste.

The prosecution will also probe contracts concluded by BFSA in 2018 in a direct contracting procedure for the disposal of animal waste in mobile incinerators as well as all annexes signed until now.

The check will examine all payments effected by BFSA to the contracted companies and the activities for which they have been paid in order to establish the actual quantity of disposed animal waste and the amount of payments. In addition, the check will assess what control had been exercised by BFSA over the contractors and the disposed waste quantities for which pay was due as well as information about the capacity of the incinerators.

Prosecutors will probe mobile incinerators of each of the contracted companies, will cross check disposed waste by date and location and will seek information about the state of the existing incinerator facilities and why they are not used to dispose of pig carcasses now.

The prosecutors will examine all orders and instructions by BFSA in connection with the prescribed manner for disposing of pig carcasses in order to establish why dead pigs are buried and not burned or disposed of in a different manner and assess the possible health risks to the human population. The check will probe how mobile incinerators have been utilized during the current ASF outbreak as well as in earlier outbreaks of avian flu and ovine rinderpest and the payments effected by BFSA.

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