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Asia invaded by swine fever

Cases are multiplying from Bhutan to Nepal, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong

African swine fever invades Asia. The data comes from the official notification to the World Organization for Animal Health and attests that cases of African swine fever scattered in several areas are multiplying on the continent. The latest update on the situation of ASF in Asia is dated March 3 and reports that the first six cases were detected in the Kingdom of Bhutan in mid-February: the animals, all dead, were part of 58 pigs from a village in the Dagana district in the South Asian state. The origin of the virus is attributed to various factors: diet based on waste, fomites and illegal movements of animals.

Also in South Asia, in Nepal to be precise, the death of over 2,800 pigs was reported at the end of February: the deaths allegedly occurred in 12 farms in the Nepalese city of Bharatpur. The outbreaks have hit four municipalities in the city so far. The ASF virus was first detected in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi. According to the FAO, nearly 600 pigs have been affected since the beginning of 2023: In addition, new cases have been reported in East Nusa Tenggara province. In West Malaysia, the number of commercial farms in Penang state affected by ASF has risen to 30: so far, more than 68,600 pigs in this state have been directly affected by the disease. Three new outbreaks have been confirmed since early March, all in districts where previous cases had been reported.

Furthermore, in the Philippines, new outbreaks of swine fever were reported by the Philippine news agency in the Central Visayas region: at the end of February, this source recorded the first cases of the disease in the province of Capiz. Blood samples taken from farmyard animals tested positive for the ASF virus: all pigs within 500 meters of the outbreak were culled, while provincial authorities raised awareness among local consumers and pig farmers about the threat of the disease. Meanwhile, the spread of the plague continues in the province of Iloilo in the western Visayas: on February 21, the agency reported that the virus has been detected in 104 communities in 17 of the 22 local government units in the province. As a result of this achievement, neighboring areas such as the province of Negros Occidental and the city of Bacalod in Western Visayas have added more zones to those from which imports of live pigs and pork products are prohibited.

According to the FAO, cases of ASF were also found in 13 provinces of Vietnam this year: however, the number of outbreaks in the country is well below that recorded at this time last year. In early February, the first cases of the plague were reported in Hong Kong since May 2022: the affected structure is a licensed farm in Sheung Shui district, in the New Territories. The outbreak involved 107 pigs, 62 of which were culled. No other outbreaks have been reported in Hong Kong so far, but other cases have been reported in wild boars in the Russian Far East, Singapore and South Korea. Singapore recorded the first case of ASF in wild boars a month ago: in the State in fact, there are no pig farms in Asia and the breeding of domestic pigs by citizens is not allowed.

Since South Korea first recorded swine fever in August 2021, the number of wild boars who tested positive for the virus has reached 2,890, according to a March 6 survey, 48 more than reported by the same source on 13 February. Infected animals have been found in four provinces. So far, 32 outbreaks have affected domestic pigs in South Korea, with the largest number of cases confirmed in mid-February.

Japan also reports a new outbreak of classical swine fever: at the end of February, the Japanese veterinary authorities recorded a high mortality in a farm with about 3,000 pigs in the area of the city of Kasumigauri. In an epidemiologically linked farm in the town of Sosa, another 98 pigs were subjected to preventive culling. This brings the total number of confirmed swine fever outbreaks in the country to 86.

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EFA News - European Food Agency