Thailand has culled more than 200 pigs this week, authorities said on August 18, in the first such action amid heightened fears of a potential outbreak of African swine fever.
Thailand has yet to report any outbreaks of African swine feveramong its pigs, though neighboring Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia have allconfirmed cases of the deadly disease.
Thailand’s department of livestock said the culling of the pigswas a preventative action after two pigs died mysteriously in the northernprovince of Chiang Rai, about 20 km from Myanmar.
The culled pigs were within a 1 km radius of the pigs that hadfallen ill and died.
The department said blood and tissue samples of the first pigswere sent on September 16 to a lab in Lampang province to see whether they had contractedAfrican swine fever. Lab results could take about 14 days.
Thailand has been on high alert since neighboring countries reported outbreaksand has banned imports of pig and pork products from Laos and Myanmar.
African swine fever was first detected in Asia last August in China, wiping outnearly 40 percent of pigs in the world’s largest pork producer. It has sincespread across Asia, affecting Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar andthe Philippines.
The Republic of Korea (RoK) was the latest country affected by thevirus, confirming two cases this week.
The disease does not affect humans but causes haemorrhagic feverin pigs and wild boars that is almost always fatal. There is currently noantidote or vaccine, with the only known preventative measure being a mass cullof infected livestock. The disease spreads by contact between infected pigs orother wild animals and can inflict massive economic damage on farms./. VNA