Fears rise as deadly pig virus spreads across Asia

Fears rise as deadly pig virus spreads across Asia
The virus is not harmful for human, but it can kill pigs withing few days. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times, North Sumatra: A deadly pig virus devastating farmers across Asia as the latest victim is Indonesia.

The outbreak of African swine fever killed nearly 30,000 pigs in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province; agriculture ministry acknowledged on Wednesday.

Indonesia is Asia’s ninth-largest pork producer.

A United Nations measure says global meat prices have surged this year and rising food costs in some of the biggest emerging markets are posing a possible inflation threat.

Indonesia is isolating infected areas from hog trade and the distribution of meat to other regions, said Fadjar Sumping Tjatur Rassa, director of animal health at the agriculture ministry. The country isn’t mandating farmers to cull hogs.

China is greatly affected by the virus and its expected to wipe out more than half of China’s pig herd this year.

Concern grows high in Australia. The country takes biosecurity measures to keep swine fever out.

The virus is not harmful for human, but it can kill pigs withing a few days. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) the virus’ fatality rate can be up to 100%.

Alongside China, Vietnam and Philippines suffered some worst outbreak in the region. Vietnams’ pork production drops by 21% this year for this outbreak. Philippines could see a 13% decline in its pig herd in 2020, it said. Rabobank put China’s herd loss at 55% this year.

Indonesia’s Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo said the virus only reported in North Sumatra so far. ‘Very serious handling is being carried out, including isolating those areas’, he said.

Un Food and Agriculture Organisation said the virus spreads in Mongolia, Cambodia, South Korea, North Korea, Myanmar and East Timor.