African swine fever will spread further across Asia, where it has devastated herds, and no country is immune from being hit by the deadly animal virus, the head of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has said.
The disease has struck 50 countries, killing hundreds of millions of pigs while reshaping global meat and feed markets.
“We are really facing a threat that is global,” OIE director general Monique Eloit told Reuters in an interview.
“The risk exists for all countries, whether they are geographically close or geographically distant because there is a multitude of potential sources of contamination.”
The disease has spread rapidly to several countries in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Korea, and the Philippines, and more countries are likely to be hit in the coming months.
Ms Eloit said: “In the short term, we are not going towards an improvement. We will continue to have more outbreaks in the infected countries. Neighbouring countries are at high risk, and for some, the question is when they will be infected.”
- This story is also featured in the Guardian today, including a quote from Pig World editor Alistair Driver.