Almost 30,000 pigs have died in a hog-cholera epidemic that has struck Indonesia, with thousands more at risk, an animal welfare official said. Thousands of pigs have died in more than a dozen regencies across North Sumatra over the past three months, and the pace of deaths is increasing, authorities said."Every day, between 1,000 and 2,000 pigs are dying. It's quite a high figure," said Agustina, the veterinary office chief in Medan who goes by one name, on Friday. Still, he added that the current death toll was a small fraction of the 1.2 million hogs in North Sumatra, a part of Muslim-majority Indonesia that is predominantly Christian and where pork is an important part of local fare. Last month, more than 1,000 cholera-stricken pigs were buried in the province after their decaying carcasses were plucked from local waterways, as police searched for suspects who discarded them. Previously, lab tests found that the animals died of hog cholera but officials said they are also testing to see if any were infected with African swine fever. Neither are believed to pose a risk to humans. In 2017, a hog cholera outbreak in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province killed more than 10,000 pigs, causing severe financial losses for local farmers.
A report in November 2019 revealed there is not enough pork in the world’ to deal with China’s demand for meat. Hundreds of millions of pigs, 40% of the total have died or have been culled from swine fever, and the prices are soaring. A report by the Guardian claimed, since August 2018, when China notified the World Organisation for Animal Health that ASF (swine fever) was in the country, the disease has spread with extraordinary speed. Some 40% of Chinese pigs – hundreds of millions of animals – have now been lost, and the result has been a chronic shortage of pork and rocketing prices. The Chinese government has been forced to dig into its gigantic emergency reserves of frozen meat. “The producer price has risen 125% since July,” said Rupert Claxton of international food consultancy Girafood. Full story
Vietnam culled more than 1.2 million farmed pigs infected with African swine fever in May and the virus continues to spread rapidly in the Southeast Asian country. Pork accounts for three-quarters of total meat consumption in Vietnam, a country of 95 million people where most of its 30 million farm-raised pigs are consumed domestically. The virus was first detected in Vietnam in February and has spread to 29 provinces, including Dong Nai, which supplies around 40% of the pork consumed in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's southern economic hub. "The risk of the virus spreading further is very high and the evolution of the outbreak is complicated," the government said in a statement. It said many provinces had failed to detect outbreaks and cull infected pigs properly due to a lack of funds and the space needed for burying the dead pigs. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in March advised Vietnam to declare the swine fever outbreak as a national emergency. Full story