African swine fever (ASF) is on the loose again and wreaking havoc in Indonesia as the World Organisation for Animal Health confirms an outbreak.
Indonesia Asserts African Swine Fever Outbreak
An outbreak of this devastating pig disease has been detected on a farm in the Riau Islands close to Singapore, according to World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). The surge killed 35,297 pigs on a farm situated on Bulan island on April 1st.
Although not fatal to humans, it’s highly deadly for pigs, also called swine, porkers, boars, or hogs. The source of the plague isn’t known yet. However, veterinarians think that people, feed, vehicles, wild boars, or flies might have brought the disease. The Singapore Food Agency made an investigation following the detection of the disease in imported pigs.
The disease pestered China for years, inflicting an initial wave from 2018 to 2019 killing millions of pigs. Due to the outbreak, there was a dramatic drop in meat output that moved global markets about. Currently, the country is dealing with a recent surge in infections.
What is African Swine Fever?
African swine fever is an extremely communicable viral disease of both domestic and wild pigs with a mortality rate that can reach 100%. It’s not dangerous to humans, however, it has damaging effects on pig populations and the farming industry. Unfortunately, there’s no effective vaccine to counter ASF at the moment.
The virus itself is exceptionally resistant to the environment and can survive on clothing, footwear, wheels, and other materials. Likewise, it can thrive in a variety of pork products, including bacon, ham, or sausages.
ASF originated and was detected in Kenya in 1921 and spread to sub-Saharan African countries. In 1957, it reached Europe and was identified in a Portugal pig farm. This devastating disease isn’t only hampering animal health and well-being but also has adverse effects on biodiversity and farmers’ livelihoods.
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