East Nusa Tenggara lost 22,000 hogs to African swine fever

East Nusa Tenggara lost 22,000 hogs to African swine fever

Hog farming in East Nusa Tenggara Province (ANTARA/HO-Dinas Peternakan Provinsi NTT)

Timor Island is the most-affected area, but the African Swine Fever has also affected several hogs in other islands
Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The African Swine Fever (ASF) has wiped out a hog population of at least 22 thousand in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara Province, as of June-end 2020, East Nusa Tenggara Animal Husbandry Secretary Frans Samon revealed.

ASF has swept through the areas of Timor and other islands in the province, including Sumba, Alor, and Flores, thereby raising major concerns among several local hog farmers, he informed ANTARA here, Friday.

"Timor Island is the most-affected area, but the African Swine Fever has also affected several hogs in other islands," Samon pointed out.

In halting the spread of the ASF outbreak in the province, the East Nusa Tenggara Animal Husbandry Office has established a special task force for monitoring the distribution of hog meat, he revealed.

However, the surveillance efforts were unable to cover all buyers of hog meat. Several of them might have bought the infected meat. Consequently, ASF infected several hogs in other areas, he remarked.

The task force has urged local residents to purchase hog meat at slaughterhouses that have examined the health of pigs before being slaughtered, he emphasized.

Speaking in connection with these ASF cases, Director of Livestock and Animal Health at the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture I Ketut Diarmita had made it amply clear earlier that the cases of hogs in Indonesia are linked to ASF and not to the swine flu.

According to ANTARA, the ASF virus cases, traced in Indonesia in 2019 and February 2020, had killed thousands of hogs in North Sumatra and several other provinces in Indonesia, including Bali.

Apart from Indonesia, the ASF virus had also swept across countries in Asia, including China, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Several are alarmed by the outbreak since no vaccine had yet to be found to cure the ASF virus that has a lethal effect on pigs but will not contaminate humans.

In connection with the potential threats of swine flu, the Indonesian Health Ministry has intensified its precautionary measures after Chinese scientists recently cautioned that the pig influenza virus bearing genotype 4 (G4) could likely be transmitted from swine to humans.

"Our surveillance remains in place to detect any possibility," Director of Disease Prevention and Control at the Indonesian Ministry of Health Siti Nadia Tarmizi stated.

However, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture that has an authoritative area of detecting workers at the hog farming industry had yet to find any potential spread of G4 EA H1N1 viruses in pigs and humans in Indonesia, she revealed.

"We have yet to receive any report on this matter," she noted, adding that the swine flu-related viruses were actually classified as a "self-limiting disease".

The World Health Organization (WHO) had grouped it into an ordinary influenza whose vaccine has been available, she pointed out.
Related news: Precautionary measures increased against swine flu

Related news: Indonesian quarantine service increases surveillance of swine flu