SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgarian veterinary authorities said on Friday they will cull 30,000 pigs after detecting an outbreak of African swine fever at a breeding farm in northern Bulgaria, the third industrial farm hit by the fast spreading deadly virus.

The farm in the village of Goliamo Vranovo, near the Danube city of Ruse, is close to a farm where authorities are already culling 40,000 pigs. Another 14,000 pigs at another farm were culled earlier this month.

European Union member Bulgaria has so far detected more than 20 outbreaks of African swine fever at industrial or backyard farms in the northern part of the country.

Experts say Bulgaria could lose its entire pig breeding industry and have its 500,000 pigs culled due to the highly contagious disease that does not, however, affect humans.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)