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Singapore confirms first African swine fever case

Further cases of ASF in domestic swine have been reported in India and Malaysia, as South Korea records its fourth farm outbreak this year.

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The ASF virus has also been detected at a farm in Hong Kong.

For the first time ever, the African swine fever (ASF) virus has been detected in Singapore.

This month, the carcass of a wild boar found dead tested positive for the virus. The animal was found in a natural park in the North West area, according to the official notification to the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).

The zone appears to be near to a narrow strait, which separates Singapore from the Malaysian state of Johor, where cases of ASF have previously been reported. However, the source of the infection in Singapore is uncertain. Authorities for Singapore report that there is no pig production in the state, and the only domestic swine are part of a zoological collection. The health of these animals is being closely monitored.

Travelers to Taiwan are now being warned not to bring in pork from Singapore due to the risk of introducing the ASF virus, reported Taiwan News last week.

Pigs die of ASF on Hong Kong farm

At the start of February, 45 pigs died at a farm in the Sheung Shui district in the New Territories of Hong Kong.

Source of the infection is unknown, and the herd size at the affected licensed premises is not reported to WOAH.

Movements at the infected farm were immediately halted, and surveillance was stepped up. So far, no signs of the ASF virus have been found at the five pig farms within a radius of three kilometers of the index premises.

Based on WOAH reports, Hong Kong has been free of ASF since May of 2022.

South Korea reports 4th farm outbreak of 2023

In recent days, ASF virus was detected at a farm in the northeastern province of Gangwon, reported Yonhap news agency. This brings to four the number of outbreaks in the nation’s domestic pigs so far this year.

As is usual practice in the country, a 48-hour standstill was imposed on movement of pigs in the area, which covered most of the Gangwon.

Latest to be affected was a commercial premises where 23 pigs died, according to the agriculture ministry. Under close monitoring are five other farms within 500 meters of the index outbreak as well as three other premises within a 10-kilometer radius.

The latest outbreak brings to 32 the number of farm premises with confirmed ASF outbreaks on South Korea’s farms since August 2021. Of these, 14 have been in Gangwon, 13 in the northwestern province of Gyeonggi, and five in the Incheon city region.

Among the wild boar population over this period, there have been 2,874 confirmed ASF cases, reported Pig People on February 13. This is 47 more cases in this population than reported by the same source on January 27.

Majority of these infected animals have been found in Gangwon and Gyeonggi, with others in North Chungcheong and North Gyeongsang.

ASF continues to affect Malaysian farmers

In Penang state in Western Malaysia, the spread of ASF continues, reported Malaysia Now at the start of this month. At that time, more than 62,000 pigs had been impacted by ASF on 27 farms in the southwest of the state. Of these, 18 were located in South Serabang, and the rest in three adjacent districts.

According to Penang’s Chief Minister, transportation is responsible for the spread of infection.

While a further 11,943 pigs in the state have been culled due to ASF, he reported there is no shortage of pork as 90 pig farms in Penang are so far free of the disease.

Out of caution to prevent the spread of the ASF virus, the ban on movements of pigs and pork from Penang to other parts of Malaysia has also been applied to the neighboring state of Perak. Free Malaysia Today reported recently that this freeze is adversely affecting pig farmers and pork butchers in the latter state.

Based on WOAH notifications, ASF virus was first detected in Western Malaysia in November 2021. Since that time, wild and domestic pigs across eight of the region’s 11 states have tested positive for the disease.

In Eastern Malaysia, ASF has been circulating since February of the same year. Affected have been wild and domestic animals in the states of Sabah and Sarawak.

From a recent event, The Borneo Post reported that ASF has hit most of Sarawak’s pig farmers. They have received no financial compensation, and many have abandoned their farms. Among the impacts on the local pork market have been reduced supplies, the closure of at least one slaughterhouse, and increased imports from Brazil, Belgium and Denmark. Furthermore, market stall operators say, high prices are making pork unaffordable for many consumers.

Most recent ASF outbreak affecting domestic swine in Eastern Malaysia reported to WOAH was in October 2022.

Philippines remains on ASF alert

In the Philippines, recent ASF outbreaks in Iloilo province in the Western Visayas region underlie the strengthening disease control measures in neighboring provinces such as Negros Occidental and Antique, reports the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

In Antique, an executive order introduced in October 2022 is being supported by a new ordinance to protect the local swine industry. Under the scheme, ASF technical support teams are being set up at provincial and community levels covering rapid action, surveillance, quarantine and information to ensure continued freedom from the disease.

In other areas, PNA reports developments to stimulate the return of pig production.

For Zamboanga City in western Mindanao and Abra province in northern Luzon, this has involved financial compensation paid to farmers and hog raisers whose animals were culled. PNA reported recently that the government has provided weaners and feed to affected owners, now that ASF has been eliminated from the area.

ASF developments elsewhere in Asia

At the end of last month, Telegraph India reported that ASF had hit two more farms in the southwestern state of Kerala.

Culling of 66 pigs within one kilometer of the outbreaks was reported to be underway in Uzhavoor in the Kottayam district. Previous outbreaks have been recorded in this district, in addition to 16 other Indian states since the start of 2022.

In Indonesia, ASF has now been detected in 18 out of the country’s 34 provinces, according to a recent regional disease update by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. It reports that 256 pigs have died of the disease recently at eight districts in the province of East Nusa Tenggara.

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

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