In Bhutan, more cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been found, while the disease is blamed for elevated mortality among pigs in eastern India.
Many more cases of African swine fever (ASF) have come to light in Bhutan.
After 30 pigs were found dead near the town of Phuentshogling at the start of May, a further 1,280 animals are now reported to have been affected by the disease. According to the latest official report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), four of these pigs died, and 20 have been culled.
The veterinary authority of Bhutan reports that there are no pig farms in the town. Affected animals are strays that cross the porous border with the Indian state of West Bengal, and scavenge in the Bhutan town and more widely in the district of Chhukha.
These latest cases bring the country’s total to 1,310 pigs. Of these animals, 34 died and 20 have now been killed.
Rising mortalities reported in eastern Indian state
To the far east of India — in Mizoram — the number of pigs that have died of ASF is now reported to exceed 5,500. This total has been reached just two months after the first cases in the state at the end of March, according to local officials. So far, economic losses are estimated at INR221.8 million (US$3.03 million), reports East Mojo.
The first suspected ASF cases in Mizoram were reported in Lungsen village in Lunglei district, which borders Bangladesh, on March 21.
ASF spreads in Philippines region
In the region of Eastern Visayas, ASF has now spread to at least 23 towns in four provinces, reports Philippine News Agency (PNA).
According to the regional Department of Agriculture, discussions are ongoing regarding the best procedures for depopulating pigs. Solutions are also being worked on regarding border controls and the setting up of command centers to prevent the spread of infection to new areas. Meanwhile, the Department reports local risk assessments are being carried out, and pig herds monitored. Disinfection and an awareness campaign in the region are being stepped up.
Among the challenges to effective disease control is an absence of records on the number of pigs — or even commercial hog farms — held by local governments.
First confirmed ASF outbreak in the region was in January of this year, in the Leyte province town of Abuyog. Source of the infection was thought to be an infected boar used for natural mating, or pig traders. Across the island of Samar, the transport of infected meat has been blamed for wider transmission of the virus.
Meanwhile, in the region of Western Visayas, PNA reports that the authorities are using social media to disseminate information about ASF and its prevention. This region is one of the leading suppliers of pork to Manila and the National Capital Region. Ongoing ASF outbreaks have led to supply disruption in the cities, and to sharply rising prices for consumers.
China reports third ASF outbreak in Xinjiang Uighur region
In its latest report to the OIE, China’s agriculture ministry confirmed a third outbreak of ASF in the Xinjiang Uighur region. Affecting 599 pigs, 33 of which died, the outbreak occurred at a farm in Dadamatu township in early April.
Previous outbreaks had been registered in the same township on March 22, following an initial outbreak in the region’s Hami district in early February.
In total, the three outbreaks have directly impacted 1,212 pigs. Of these, just over 300 died, and more than 900 more have been culled to prevent further spread of the infection.
ASF ‘resolved’ in Hong Kong
In the past week, Hong Kong’s animal health agency has declared to the OIE that the ASF situation has been “resolved.”
This declaration came after a single outbreak of the disease among almost 4,000 pigs at a farm in the Yuen Long district in February of this year. After the ASF virus was detected in a second pig house, all pigs at the index farm were culled. No cases have been detected in the territory since then, and all restrictions on the farm were lifted in mid-May.
Subsequently, genetic sequencing revealed the virus involved to belong to genotype II.
Further ASF cases detected in Russia’s Far East
At the end of May, the only pig died belonging to a household in Primorskiy krai in Russia’s Far Eastern federal district. According to the latest official report from the Russian authorities to the OIE, the affected premises is in Mikhaylovsky district.
One month earlier and around 50 kilometers away was the federal district’s only previous outbreak in the current ASF outbreak series. So far, three pigs have been involved in the two outbreaks.
Effectively, the present outbreak series in the Far Eastern district directly followed the preceding one. This had comprised 211 outbreaks in this area between July 2019 and March this year. In total, 6,563 domestic pigs had been directly impacted, along with more than 300 wild boar.
Second ASF outbreak in Namibia
Animal health agency of the southern African state has informed OIE about a second outbreak of ASF. This occurred at a farm with 15 pigs in the northwestern region of Kunene in early May, according to the official report. Eight of the animals died, and seven were destroyed.
After an absence of around 10 months, ASF returned to Namibia at the end of April. At the time, the virus was detected in 19 pig herds in a village in the neighboring region of Ohangwena. Of the 195 pigs directly impacted, 23 died and 15 more were culled. Located in the north of the country, both regions border Angola.
Control of ASF in domestic animals is based on four pillars, according to the OIE report. These cover surveillance within the containment zone, selective killing and disposal of carcasses, disinfection, and control of likely vectors.
Around 12 months previously, two ASF outbreaks were reported in Namibia. One was in Kunene, and the other in Omusati, which also on the frontier with Angola.
View our continuing coverage of the global African swine fever situation.