Japan culls 753 pigs to contain swine fever outbreak

Japan culls 753 pigs to contain swine fever outbreak

African swine fever, fatal to wild boar and pigs but harmless to humans, has cut a swathe through
File photo of pigs. (Photo: AFP/Damien Meyer)

TOKYO: Japanese officials have culled 753 pigs in Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo after detecting an outbreak of swine fever, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Sunday (Sep 15).

The cull, which took place on Saturday, was necessary after it was determined that pigs raised in the prefecture for shipment to central Japan were infected, the Yomiuri said.

Saitama also decided to halt shipments from two other pig farms in the area of the outbreak, the Yomiuri said.

Officials from the Saitama Prefecture government were not immediately available to comment.

Last year, Japan confirmed the first outbreak of swine flu in 26 years in the country. The fever was found in a farm in the Gifu Prefecture, central Japan.

The fever detected in Japan is a different strain from the deadly African swine fever that China has been battling, Japan's agriculture ministry has previously said.

The disease found in Gifu is also known as hog cholera. It occurs among pigs, wild boar and is not infectious for humans.

Japan is the world's 10th largest pork producer, and exports about 12 billion yen (US$111 million) worth of pork products annually.

Pork prices in China, the world's top consumer of the meat, have hit a record after an epidemic of African swine fever swept through the country's pig herd, killing millions.

Source: Reuters

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