Two years on from the first cases of African swine fever in China, the global animal health agency highlights a worsening situation in Asia.
Since 2016, African swine fever (ASF) has been detected among domestic pigs in 30 African states, and 14 in Asia, according to the latest review of the global situation from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Based on official reports received, the numbers of animals lost to the disease so far are 6.734 million in Asia and 85,539 in Africa.
Together with outbreaks in Europe, the total number of pigs lost to ASF worldwide over the period now stands at more than 8.2 million animals. ASF virus has been detected in 60 countries.
This month marks the second anniversary of the first cases of ASF in China. OIE describes the global pattern of distribution of ASF since the first outbreak as a “serious deterioration,” particularly in Europe and Asia.
In recent weeks, OIE and the FAO jointly described ASF as a major crisis for the global pork industry, and called for a called for a new international cooperation to tackle the disease.
First ASF cases in Zambia confirmed
After recent local media reports, Zambia’s livestock ministry informed the OIE over the past week that five outbreaks have occurred in the southern Africa state.
Almost 7,000 pigs were involved in these outbreaks, which started in the Northern and North -Western regions during the second half of July. More than 2,330 pigs died from the disease. Affected herds were free-ranging animals in herds of between 112 and 3,150.
Movements have been banned of live pigs and pork into and out of affected areas, according to the official report. Source of infection is attributed to illegal animal movements, and to fomites.
Last reported outbreaks of ASF in Zambia were in November 2018. It is noteworthy that the Northern region borders Tanzania and Malawi, while the North-Western region shares an international frontier with Angola. One of the latest Zambian outbreaks appears to be close to the Tanzanian border. ASF is known to be present in all three of Zambia’s neighbors.
Nigeria: ASF spreads to 9 states
Over a six-week period, the ASF situation has deteriorated rapidly, with the disease now causing disease and mortality among pigs in nine states of this West African country. Latest to confirm the infection are Benue and Rivers states.
In Lagos, Abia, and Ogun, mortalities are scored at 5 on a 5-point scale by the federal agriculture ministry, while Ogun state was given a score of 4.
While actual numbers of animals involved in the outbreaks have not been reported to the OIE, the country’s pig farmers are becoming increasingly desperate.
As well as helping to mitigate the spread of the disease, the government should compensate farmers for their lost stock. That was the call from the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, reported Sun News. The compensation will help affected farmers to regain their livelihoods, said the group’s secretary.
Russia reports more ASF cases in Far Eastern district
In the Primorsky krai region of Russia, further cases of ASF have been confirmed among backyard pigs and wild boar over the past month.
According to the agriculture ministry’s latest reports to the OIE, a total of 53 domestic pigs were affected by disease outbreaks, In four different districts, a total of 13 animals died in herds of up to 18 pigs.
In one of these districts, four wild boar have recently tested positive for the ASF virus.
2 ASF-infected wild boar in South Korea’s northern border region
Over the past week, the agriculture ministry of South Korea has reported to the OIE that a further two wild boar have tested positive for the ASF virus. One was found in the Pocheon region of Gyeonggi province. The other was located in the Gangwon district of Hwacheon.
Reporting its first cases of ASF in May 2019, there have been no updates on the disease situation in North Korea since that time.
Further cases confirmed in the Philippines
Over the past week, Philippine News Agency reported that more areas around the town of Magpet have been included in movement restrictions for live pigs and pork products.
Nine villages are now covered by the precautions, and a further 678 pigs belonging to 159 owners have been culled to prevent further infection. As additional checkpoints are set up in the region, further financial assistance is being offered to affected owners.
Located on the island of Mindanao, Magpet is in the province of North Cotabato.
Also on Mindanao, 33 breeding gilts have been supplied to farmers in the Caraga region, reports Manila Bulletin.
At a cost of PHP1.1 million (US$22,400), the government supplied these animals to farmers who lost their stock to ASF in previous outbreaks. Aim of this program is to rebuild the country’s pig population.
View our continuing coverage of the global African swine fever situation.