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Philippines misses GDP target due to ASF

The Philippines missed its annual target for the growth in gross domestic product in 2019, and this has been blamed partly on ASF.

Philippines economy and financial market growth concept, 3D rendering
Kagenmi | Bigstock.com

Outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) have been given as one of the factors behind a lower-than-expected growth in the economy of the Philippines.

The Philippines missed its annual target for the growth in gross domestic product in 2019, and this has been blamed partly on ASF.

Despite an increase of 6.4% for the fourth quarter, GDP achieved a rise of 5.9% for the year, according to the Philippines Statistics Authority. In 2018, GDP grew 6.2%, and the government had forecast 6-6.5% for last year.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia cited the spread of ASF outbreaks in Luzon as one of the factors that held back the Philippines economy in 2019, reports Rappler.

ASF has been detected in 612 communities on the island of Luzon, reports Philstar. Nine provinces have reported outbreaks — Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Tarlac, Rizal, Cavite, Pangasinan and parts of Metro Manila.

More ASF outbreaks in Indonesia

In the Indonesian province of North Sumatra, the death toll from ASF has risen by a further 10,000 from one month ago to more than 38,000. In its latest report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the country’s agriculture ministry says that the disease has killed more than 3% of the estimated 1.228 million pigs in the province.

Disposal of dead animals, as well as cleaning and disinfection are ongoing, according to the official report. In the meantime, the transportation of live pigs from other areas, animal handlers and fomites continue to represent the main risks for the further spread of the infection.

The number of ASF outbreaks in Indonesia has reached 857, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This source puts the mortalities at around 42,000 pigs in North Sumatra province. Investigations are underway into the cause of death of some animals in a second province, Bali.

After these reports, the Philippines announced a temporary ban in the import of pigs and pig meat products from Indonesia. Additional checks will be made on luggage of passengers from Indonesia, reports Philstar.

Further cases in domestic pigs in other Asian states

In Laos (Lao People’s Democratic Republic), the death toll due to ASF since the first cases in June 2019 has reached 49,000 pigs, according to the FAO. With all provinces/areas affected, there have been more than 170 outbreaks of the disease.

Four Vietnamese provinces have reported no new ASF cases for at least 30 days, reports the same source. It gives agriculture ministry figures that 5.96 million pigs have been culled in Vietnam since the first outbreak in February of last year. All provinces/cities have reported outbreaks.

First cases of ASF in East Timor (Timor Leste) were in the capital, Dili in September 2019. Added to those 100 confirmed outbreaks among smallholder herds, FAO reports that further cases have been confirmed in nine other districts. Around 1,600 pigs have so far died in East Timor as a result of the disease.

Jump in South Korean cases in wild boar

The number of wild boar found to be infected by ASF in South Korea has reached 106, according to Yonhap.

The two latest cases were in the regions of Paju city and the Hwacheon district of Gangwon province. Like the majority of confirmed ASF cases, these animals were found in the area near to the border with North Korea. There have been no ASF outbreaks in domestic pigs since October 2019.

More infected wild boar in Russia’s Far East

A total of five wild boar have been found in two regions in the Far Eastern federal district, according to the latest report from the Russian agriculture ministry to the OIE. Three of the animals were found dead in Amur oblast, and a further two in Primorsky krai.

View our continuing coverage of the global African swine fever situation.

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