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Indonesia’s African swine fever situation deteriorates

The death toll attributed to ASF among Indonesia’s pig population has risen to more than 42,000.

Assunta Piu |

In Indonesia, the African swine fever (ASF) situation shows no signs of easing, and new cases have been confirmed among the South Korean wild boar population.

The death toll attributed to ASF among Indonesia’s pig population has risen to more than 42,000.

According to Jakarta Post this week, all these pigs have been killed in North Sumatra province. The report continues to attribute some of the mortality to another devastating but unrelated disease, hog cholera (also known as classical swine fever). Presence of this infection ‚ÄĒ also a notifiable disease ‚ÄĒ has not yet been officially confirmed by the country‚Äôs animal health agency.

ASF appears to be spreading within North Sumatra. Eighteen districts of the province have reported cases so far, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

First identified in early September, the presence of ASF in Indonesia was officially confirmed to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in mid-December. This development made Indonesia the 12th Asian country to confirm the presence of the disease, which re-emerged in China in August 2018. No further official reports have been issued to the OIE since the first ‚Äúimmediate notification.‚ÄĚ

Initially, hog losses were estimated to be around 28,000 among the 1.23 million animals at risk in the province. Just two weeks ago, Jakarta Post reported the number of pigs that had died in the region at 29,200.

Vietnam has ‚Äėplenty of pork‚Äô for Tet holiday

There will be no shortage of pork for the celebration of Tet, the Lunar New Year holiday celebrated in Vietnam on January 25.

This situation was confirmed by Nguyen Xuan Cuong, the country’s agriculture minister, in a recent interview, reports Vietnam News.

As a result of ASF, around 6 million pigs were destroyed in Vietnam during 2019, he said. This is equivalent to about 340,000 metric tons of pork, or 9% of the nation‚Äôs annual production. Small household farmers were especially hard hit.

According to the minister, the disease situation in Vietnam is improving. During the month of November, 40,000 pigs were destroyed ‚ÄĒ down from 1.3 million at the peak of the pandemic in May. Now, around 80% of communities have eliminated ASF, he said, and the pig industry could return to normal by February or March.

Valuable lessons have been learned in Vietnam from the ASF crisis, the minister said. These include the importance for pig keepers to practice biosecurity, and vaccination of piglets.

As yet, no vaccine against ASF has received international recognition.

Three Vietnamese provinces have reported no new ASF outbreaks for 30 days, according to the FAO.

In its latest report to the OIE, the agriculture ministry has recorded no new ASF outbreaks. The most recent cases, according to this source, were among a village herd in mid-August 2019.

More ASF cases in South Korean wild boar

The number of wild boar in South Korea confirmed with ASF has risen to 58, reports the Yonhap. Five animals have been confirmed with the infection over the past two weeks. As in the majority of previous cases, these animals were found near to the border with North Korea. ASF has affected pigs at 14 South Korean farms, most recently in October last year.

In a separate article, the news agency reports that the parliament had voted to increase the support offered to small merchants and farmers affected by ASF.

North Korea officially reported the presence of ASF in May 2019. There has been no further information on the progress of the disease since that time.

Myanmar, China report ASF situation ‚Äėresolved‚Äô

China’s agriculture ministry has declared to the OIE that the ASF situation has been resolved in the provinces of Gansu, Guangxi, Hubei, and Ningxia. The most recent cases to be officially confirmed in those regions were between the end of July and mid-October.

Citing a ministry report, pig production is returning to normal in China, according to the FAO. There has been a 2.2% month-on-month increase in the number of breeding sows, and the recovery is put at 3.4% for the larger production units. To ensure the safety and quality of pork for the Lunar New Year, the ministry has stepped up inspections at pig slaughterhouses across the country.

Most recent ASF cases reported in China were confirmed on December 20. They involved a group of pigs inspected at a highway checkpoint in Sichuan province.

According to Myanmar‚Äôs livestock ministry latest report to the OIE, ASF has also been resolved.  The most recent outbreak there was in September, the country‚Äôs fourth confirmed outbreak since July. All cases were in Shan state.

ASF situation in other regions

There have been no new reports of ASF outbreaks in Africa. In Europe, new cases have occurred in domestic pigs in Bulgaria and Romania, and six countries have confirmed recent outbreaks in wild boar.

View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreaks.

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