New outbreaks continue in other regions of Asia
After previous official denials, it has now been confirmed that African swine fever (ASF) has been detected in the Philippines. On the island of Luzon, elevated mortality had been reported among domestic pigs in the provinces of Rizal (Calabarzon region near to the capital, Manila) and Bulacan (Central Luzon region) several weeks ago.
The presence of the ASF virus in 14 of the 20 samples taken from affected animals has now been confirmed by an international laboratory, reports ABS-CBN. More than 7,400 animals have been culled in parts of the two provinces near to the disease outbreaks. According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, these areas are now “clear of the disease,” and monitoring of pigs even more than 10 kilometers of the outbreaks has revealed no further cases.
Confirmation of ASF in the Philippines brings the number of states in Asia affected by the disease to 9 (including Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District).
ASF confirmed in more pigs in Hong Kong
In recent days, the ASF virus has been detected in three “imported” pigs — presumably from Mainland China — that died at a slaughterhouse in Hong Kong.
As in previous cases in the Special Administrative Region of China, the disease was detected in animals at the Sheung Shui slaughterhouse in the New Territories, according to the official report from the region’s government to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
The latest cases have prompted changes to slaughterhouse management in Hong Kong. From now on, all premises are to be cleared daily, followed by cleaning and disinfection of lairage areas. Hygiene procedures of vehicles transporting pigs are also to be enhanced.
Hong Kong’s last ASF outbreak was in early June, among another group of imported pigs at the same slaughterhouse.
Since the start of this month, the agriculture ministry in Beijing has lifted restrictions imposed after previous ASF outbreaks in Menghai county in Yunnan province, and Jiajiang county in Sichuan.
Head of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau at the ministry stated in a recent interview that no vaccine against ASF has been approved for use in China, and that any products offered on the market are illegal or fake. Despite a great deal of research in the country, there has been no breakthrough in vaccine development, and the most advanced vaccine is in a pilot phase, and not yet suitable for clinical trials.
All areas of Vietnam now affected by ASF
ASF has been detected for the first time in the South Central Coast province of Ninh Thuan. This means that all Vietnam’s provinces/cities have recorded at least one outbreak of the disease. The number of pigs estimated to have been culled in the country as a result now exceeds 4.5 million, according to the latest situation update from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
A total of 15 village pigs were culled as a result of the latest outbreak in Ninh Thuan, according to the official report from the Vietnamese agriculture ministry to the OIE.
ASF spreads in Russia’s Far East
The number of confirmed ASF outbreaks in the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia has almost doubled in the past week to 23, with almost 800 domestic pigs now lost to the disease in the region through mortality or culling.
ASF appears to be spreading rapidly among backyard herds in Primorsky Krai and Amur oblast, where outbreaks have now occurred in four and six districts, respectively. Between August 28 and September 2, 57 pigs died and 131 were culled as a result of 12 new outbreaks of the disease, according to the agriculture ministry’s official report to the OIE.
View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.