Japan culls over 750 pigs after detecting swine fever outbreak

TOKYO • Japanese officials have culled 753 pigs in Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo, after detecting an outbreak of swine fever, the Yomiuri Shimbun said yesterday.

The cull, which took place last Saturday, was necessary after it was determined that pigs raised in the prefecture for shipment to central Japan were infected, said the newspaper.

Saitama also decided to halt shipments from two other pig farms in the area of the outbreak, the newspaper said.

Officials from the Saitama prefecture government were not immediately available for comment.

Last year, Japan confirmed the first outbreak of swine flu in 26 years in the country. The fever was found at a farm in Gifu prefecture in central Japan.

The fever detected in Japan is of a different strain from the deadly African swine fever that China has been battling, Japan's Agriculture Ministry has previously said.

The disease found in Gifu is also known as hog cholera. It occurs among pigs and wild boar and is not infectious for humans.

Japan is the world's 10th-largest pork producer, and exports about 12 billion yen (S$152 million) worth of pork products annually.

Pork prices in China, the world's top consumer of the meat, have hit a record high after an epidemic of African swine fever swept through the country's pig herd, killing millions.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2019, with the headline 'Japan culls over 750 pigs after detecting swine fever outbreak'. Print Edition | Subscribe