CHIANG RAI – Provincial livestock officials culled more than 200 pigs in Chiang Rai, amid heightened fears of an outbreak of African swine fever.
No outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) among pigs in Thailand has yet been reported. Although in neighboring Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia have all confirmed cases of the deadly disease.
The department of livestock said the culling of the pigs was a “preventative action” after two pigs died mysteriously.
“We have killed over 200 pigs on two farms there,” Nopporn Mahakanta, chief of the provincial livestock office, said. Adding that the action was in line with protocols to curb outbreaks of animal diseases like African swine fever (ASF).
“They were within a 1km radius of the pigs that had fallen ill and died,” he told Thai media.
Nopporn said blood and tissue samples of the first pigs were sent to a lab in Lampang to see whether they had contracted ASF.
Lab results could take about 14 days
Last month authorities in the border town of Tachilek culled of more than 2000 pigs after nearly 500 pigs allegedly died from African swine fever.
Tachilek borders Chiang Rai province raising fears that African swine fever may now be at Thailand’s borders.
The official cause of death is yet to be determined however African swine fever is highly suspected.
With African swine fever running rampant throughout China and Laos, it’s currently the main suspect for the mass deaths.
Pigs Culled Across Asia as African Swine Fever (ASF) Spreads
African swine fever was first detected in Asia last August in China, wiping out nearly 40% of pigs in the world’s largest pork producer. It has since spread across Asia, affecting Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines. South Korea is the latest country to confirm swine fever .
The virus causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs. Some isolates can cause the death of animals as quickly as a week after infection according to Wikipedia.
The deadly pig-killing disease is continuing, with predictions the disease will wipe out 20 per cent of world meat protein by year’s end.