African swine fever (ASF) has been found in wild boars in the west of Poland, just 70km from the German border, representing a 300km leap westwards. The State Veterinary Institute in Pulawy confirmed two cases in dead wild boars in the Lubuskie province in the Nowa Sol county. Further dead wild boar have been discovered in the vicinity, prompting concerns that more cases are likely to be confirmed.
South Korea’s African swine fever crisis intensified Tuesday with lab tests confirming the fourth case in a week from a farm near its border with North Korea. The discovery of still more cases has raised fears officials are fighting a losing battle to halt the spread of the disease that wiped out pig populations across Asia.
The Agriculture Ministry has announced a plan to distribute piglets to farmers in areas that were hit by African Swine Fever after the virus has been completely eliminated. According to a Agriculture Ministry report, until the end of July, more than 4,400 pigs have died or been culled due to the disease.
An outbreak of African swine fever, a highly contagious disease that’s been called “pig Ebola,” is ravaging Asia’s pig industry with no signs of letting up. The current outbreak of the virus, which kills almost all animals it infects, began in China in August. Since then, some 22 percent of the country’s pig herd has been lost to the disease and to culling, Christine McCracken, an animal protein expert at Rabobank.
The deadly pig virus that jumped from Africa to Europe is now ravaging China’s $128 billion pork industry and spreading to other Asian countries, an unprecedented disaster that has prompted Beijing to slaughter millions of pigs. But stopping African swine fever isn’t so easy. The virus that causes the hemorrhagic disease is highly virulent and tenacious, and spreads in multiple ways.
Pig farmers have been warned there is “no room whatsoever” for complacency in relation to the spread of African swine fever west across Europe, a condition which could wipe out Ireland’s entire pig stock if it entered the country. The condition is a viral disease of pigs and wild boar that is usually fatal. It can result in devastating losses for pig farmers and the pig industry.
Border officials in Thailand are on ‘red alert’ for infected pork from neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam or China where the deadly African swine fever has ravaged domestic pig populations. Thailand has a big pork industry. It produces more than 2 million pigs a year and exports about 40% to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
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