Indonesia buries over 1,000 cholera-hit pigs

Workers burying carcasses of pigs in Medan, North Sumatra, on Nov 12, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

MEDAN, INDONESIA (AFP) - More than 1,000 cholera-stricken pigs have been buried in Indonesia after their decaying carcasses were plucked from local waterways, a government official said on Tuesday (Nov 12).

Hundreds more swines are still floating in rivers and a lake near Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, as police search for suspects who discarded their bodies.

"They were abandoned about eight days ago so they're decaying and it smelled very bad," local official Muhammad Yunus told AFP.

"We will keep cleaning them up and burying the carcasses until they're gone because people have been complaining about it," he added.

Some 6,000 pigs have died across North Sumatra since September, with many dumped into local waterways.

Lab tests found that the animals died of hog cholera, but officials said they are also testing to see if any were stricken with African swine fever. Neither are believed to pose a risk to humans.

In 2017, a hog cholera outbreak in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province killed more than 10,000 pigs, causing severe financial losses for local farmers.

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