Indonesia confirms nearly 400 cases of African swine fever

Nearly 400 cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in Indonesia, where the virus has been spreading rapidly in backyard farms.

The disease has been suspected since September in the south eastern Asian country, which is also facing a classical swine fever outbreak, but the Government only confirmed its presence a few days ago.

According to the official OIE report, the outbreak started on September 4 and there have since been 392 confirmed cases in Sumatra, causing the death of more than 28,000 pigs, with 123,000 susceptible animals present on affected premises.

The outbreaks occurred in backyard pig farms in Sumatra Utara Province, home to more than a million pigs, with 16 out of 34 districts infected, the report said.

The authorities were originally alerted following reports of an increase of pigs death in several Districts in North Sumatra. A veterinary inquiry was undertaken and official tests identified the presence of ASF.

The source of infection is ‘inconclusive’. However, rapid risk assessment so far shows that transportation of live pigs from another area and contaminated fomite (objects that can carry infection) from animal handlers, vehicles and animal feed are playing a role in the spread of infection.

Indonesia is the eleventh country in the region to become affected by ASF, after the virus was confirmed in China in August 2018. The disease has also been reported in Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Timor Leste, Hong Kong, North and South Korea and Laos.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.