ASF outbreak at Riau farm

Pigs at an Indonesian farm that supplied livestock to Singapore were confirmed to have been infected with the African swine fever virus, the Indonesian authorities said.

The authorities tested pig samples from the farm on Pulau Bulan, in the Riau Islands province, after a consignment of live pigs sent to Singapore was found to be infected with the virus.

The virus was found in pig carcasses in April at an abattoir in Jurong where the animals were slaughtered for food.

Honismandri, the veterinary authority official at Riau Islands province, said that the pigs were likely to have been infected by a new strain of the African swine fever virus as their clinical symptoms differed slightly from those found in previous cases in North Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia.

“They did not have diarrhoea or experience bleeding,” said Honismandri, whose name has only one word.

“The pigs might have been infected by migrating boars or crows from other islands nearby.”

Singapore has stopped the import of live pigs from Pulau Bulan.

Honismandri, who is also head of the livestock and animal health division at the province’s Food Security, Agriculture and Animal Health Agency, said the farm has been shut and all live pigs and fresh pork shipments from the island suspended since April 21.

Biosecurity measures have also been tightened on the island, and the movement of people and goods restricted, he added.

Infected pigs and those kept in the same cages have since been culled, Honismandri said, adding that half of the 70,000 pigs on the Pulau Bulan farm are currently under lockdown to prevent further infections.

Pigs at the farm were vaccinated against another type of disease – the classical swine fever, also known as hog cholera – after they were infected in early 2022.

Both hog cholera and African swine fever have similar symptoms and can cause death in pigs. But, unlike for hog cholera, there is no vaccine against the African swine fever virus. — The Straits Times/ANN

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African swine fever , virus , pigs , Riau


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