490 hogs killed after swine fever detected

TOKYO: Japan confirmed the outbreak of swine fever at a public research institute in Gifu prefecture, prompting local officials to begin slaughtering about 490 hogs.

Local government officials yesterday reported the third case of the fever in hogs, all detected in the central prefecture, since September. Japan had not seen the virus, also known as hog cholera, since 1992.

Two pigs at the research institute in the city of Minokamo had tested positive.

“We are very sorry that the infection was found at the prefectural facility, which is supposed to have sufficient controls,” Gifu governor Hajime Furuta said at a local government meeting yesterday.

“It is extremely serious that the outbreak took place,” Farm Minister Takamori Yoshikawa said. — dpa