Reports: All of China affected by African swine fever

The last region in China to be affected by African swine fever (ASF) has reported its first cases, while new outbreaks have been confirmed in Cambodia, Romania, South Africa and Vietnam, as well as in some European wild boar populations.

Marieke Kuijpers |
Marieke Kuijpers |

The last region in China to be affected by African swine fever (ASF) has reported its first cases, while new outbreaks have been confirmed in Cambodia, Romania, South Africa and Vietnam, as well as in some European wild boar populations.

China’s agriculture ministry had announced recently that the African swine fever (ASF) situation is under control, but local media are reporting that the losses may be higher than officially reported.

Since the first ASF outbreaks in August 2018, China has already culled 1.02 million pigs and confirmed 129 outbreaks, reports South China Morning Post (SCMP), citing agriculture ministry figures.

Sow numbers in March were down 21% compared with the same month in 2018, according to a senior official in the veterinary bureau at the ministry. The number officially recorded — 375 million — is 12% below the December 2018 count of 428 million.

Furthermore, industry sources told SCMP that not all outbreaks of the disease are being reported officially, and that pig losses could reach 200 million.

Also in the U.S., pig meat industry leaders are reported to be skeptical that Chinese authorities have the ASF situation under full control.

In a welcome piece of good news about the ASF situation in China, many fewer outbreaks have been reported in the first quarter of this year than in the last three months of 2018, according to Xinhua.

ASF reaches China’s furthest regions

The last area of China that had avoided ASF has now succumbed to the disease.

During the second week of April, the virus was detected in village herds totaling 721 animals in the cities of Wanning and Danzhou in the province of Hainan. This is an island region in the South China Sea, and the country’s most southerly province. Source of the infection there is unknown, according to the national agriculture ministry’s report to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

After these two initial outbreaks, China’s agriculture ministry has reported a further six outbreaks in four other regions of Hainan province. In total, 146 of the 517 pigs involved died of the disease at two locations in each of Chengmai and Lingshui counties, as well as one premises in each of Haikou city and the county of Baoting Li and Miao.

ASF detected in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province

After 30 pigs died at a farm in the northeastern province of Mpumalanga, South Africa, the ASF virus was detected, according to the report received by the OIE from the country’s agriculture ministry. Source of infection in the latest is unknown.

As in a recent outbreak in North West Province, the cases in Mpumalanga occurred outside South Africa’s ASF Control Zone.

Cambodia reports fourth ASF outbreak

Shortly after Cambodia’s first-ever ASF outbreak during the third week of March, cases were detected in a further three village herds in the same district of Ratanakiri province in the northeast of the country.

According to the official report from the agriculture ministry to the OIE, 92% of the 1,385 pigs involved in the latest outbreaks died.

ASF outbreaks continue in Vietnam

Although it is being brought under control in some districts, ASF continues to spread around the country’s capital, Hanoi, according to Vietnam News. The disease has been confirmed in almost 900 households in 18 districts, and around 13,000 pigs have been culled.

The same source reported this month that ASF had been eliminated from the first province, Hoa Binh, and this was followed by Bac Kan. However, the disease continues to “wreak havoc” in the northern province of Ha Nam.

The disease is particularly widespread in the northern border province of Son La and in the Red River Delta province of Nam Dinh, reports Vietnam Plus. Mobile quarantine teams have been set up on roads around Nam Dinh to control the transport of live pigs and pork meat with the view to limiting the further spread of the infection.

New outbreaks in Romania

New cases of ASF have been confirmed in four backyard herds in Romania’s east, southeast and central counties — Galati, Calarasi and Arges, respectively — reports the national animal health agency to the OIE. A total of 39 pigs were lost to the disease through mortality or slaughter.

The agency has declared to the OIE that the disease situation that started in October 2018 in the central province of Arges has been resolved after a single outbreak.

Four European countries report new ASF outbreaks in wild boar

According to official reports from the respective animal health agencies received by the OIE over the past two weeks, the ASF virus has been detected in wild boar in Belgium (17 cases), Latvia and Romania (each with 3), and Ukraine (1).

While the Belgian, Latvian and Romanian cases were located in areas with previous recent infections, the wild boar in Ukraine was found in Kirovohrad, a centrally located province where the virus was last detected in February of last year.

View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.

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