Thai officials probing into deaths of farmed pigs suspected of contracting virus


BANGKOK, Aug. 27 (Xinhua): Thailand's Ministry of Agriculture said on Thursday that its Department of Livestock Development is currently probing into the deaths of several pigs suspected to be carrying a type of virus in Thailand's Northern Provinces of Mae Hong Son and Tak.

"We have found 5 dead pigs suspected of contracting porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), which is caused by a virus and can be transmitted among pigs but not to humans, confirmed the department's director-general Sorawit Thaneeto.

"Therefore, I have ordered the department's offices in the northern provinces to employ preventive measures and monitor the situation closely, especially in Mae Hong Son and Tak.

"So far we have found no additional deaths among pigs by PRRS," he added.

Sorawit said Mae Hong Son Province will cull 25 other pigs as a precaution of contracting PRRS.

My department will ensure the proper disposal of the carcasses of the culled pigs, Sorawit reassured.

"The owner will be compensated at 75 percent of the cost of the pigs if he chooses to have them eliminated by the department," he said.

"This is fully voluntary.

"Some farmers might not allow officials to get rid of their remaining pigs, in which case we will keep a record of their animals and monitor the situation closely. If their pigs die later, they will not get any compensation," he said.

"As a precaution against the disease, we have also prohibited pig farmers in suspected areas from moving their animals out of farming areas or eating the pork of dead pigs," Sorawit said. - Xinhua
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