African swine fever returns to Myanmar

During the past week, new cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been reported in Myanmar, China, the Philippines and Russia.

Dusan Petkovic |

New cases are also reported in domestic pigs in China, the Philippines and Russia.

Over the past week, new cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been reported in Myanmar.

In early April, the disease was confirmed in the western state of Shan, according to the country’s animal health agency. Its report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) outlines the deaths of nine pigs out of a herd of 90 animals.

Source of the latest infection was blamed on the illegal movement of pig products.

Just last month, Myanmar’s authorities had reported to the OIE that the previous ASF situation in the country had been “resolved.”  Previous outbreaks had been confirmed in the states of Shan and Kachin. In the northeast of the country, these neighboring states share a border with China’s Yunnan province.

Local media are reporting mortality among pigs in Chin state. Almost 200 pigs there have died as the result of a viral infection, reports Myanmar Times. Cause of death has been attributed to porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2). Head of the government veterinary department said that the transport of pigs and pork in the region is being closely monitored.

Located in the east of Myanmar, Chin state borders India and Bangladesh.

China confirms return of ASF to Yunnan

The agriculture ministry has confirmed to the OIE that ASF has returned to Yunnan province. At the end of last month, the disease was confirmed at a farm in the Lijiang city region after 81 of the 102 pigs died. According to the official report, the source of the infection was the introduction of new animals, and/or illegal movements.

ASF had been absent from Yunnan since January, according to China’s agriculture ministry.

Early field trials of an ASF vaccine have been hailed as a success, reports Xinhua news agency.  Developed at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, the live attenuated vaccine has been administered to 3,000 pigs since April, without adverse effects. Efficacy testing is ongoing.

ASF detected in Russian backyard herd

This month, 18 pigs died out of 91 animals in Russia’s Far Eastern federal district. According to the official report from the agriculture ministry, the affected backyard herd was located in Primorsky kray.

ASF was first detected in this eastern region of Russia in July 2019. Cases have been reported intermittently among wild boar and domestic pigs since that time.

ASF warning in the Philippines

New cases of ASF have been confirmed in Davao del Sur, reports Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Samples from affected animals in the Bansalan town area have tested positive for the virus. The mayor called on a local task force to halt the further spread of the infection. Within one day, 17 pigs within 1 kilometer of the outbreak were identified for culling. Movements of pigs and pork within seven kilometers of the outbreak are now subject to strict monitoring.

Davao del Sur is a province on the island of Mindanao. Here and on Luzon, outbreaks of ASF have been confirmed periodically over the past year. According to the latest OIE update, there have been 343 confirmed ASF outbreaks in the Philippines, and 287,000 pigs have been lost to the disease through mortality or culling of infected herds.

In the Mindanao province of Sarangani, consumers are being warned to be on alert when making online purchases of pork. During the month of May, the authorities seized 2.3 metric tons (mt) of processed pork at the provincial border, reports PNA. The products originated in regions of the Philippines where ASF is known to be present, and their importation into ASF-free Sarangani is prohibited.

Vietnam triples pork imports

ASF-related mortalities of pigs in Vietnam have led to a jump in pork imports, reports Vietnam Plus. For the first five months of 2020, the country brought in 67,640 mt of pork, mainly from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Poland, Russia, Spain and the U.S. This is almost three times more than in the same period of last year.

Since Vietnam’s first ASF cases in February 2019, OIE has recorded 8,466 outbreaks in all administrative divisions of the country. Almost six million pigs have died as a result, and more than 1,700 outbreaks are still reported as ongoing.

More ASF cases in South Korean wild boar

Over the past week, a further four wild boar in South Korea have tested positive for the ASF virus.

According to the latest reports to the OIE from the agriculture ministry, the affected animals were in the northern part of the country, where previous cases have been located. Three of the wild boar were from Yeoncheon county in Gyeonggi province, and the fourth was in Gangwon province.

Just over 600 wild boar have tested positive for the ASF virus in South Korea since September 2019. No cases have been reported among the nation’s domestic pigs since October 2019.

Total direct costs of ASF in Asia could be as high as US$130 billion a year, according to a recent business analyst estimate.

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

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