Photo by Yamil LAGE / AFP
The Livestock Development Department will report the finding of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Thailand to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and will declare Thailand as a country where ASF has been detected, Soravit Thaneeto, the department’s head, was quoted to have said in a press release from the department today (Tuesday).
The department sent teams of investigators to Nakhon Pathom and Ratchaburi, the two central provinces with the highest number of pig farms in the country, on January 8th and 9th, to collect blood samples and surface swabs from slaughter houses.
196 blood samples were taken from six pig farms in Ratchaburi province, as well as 113 samples from four farms and two slaughter houses in Nakhon Pathom. All were sent to the department’s National Institute of Animal Health for tests.
According to Soravit, 308 samples tested negative. One sample, from a slaughter house in Nakhon Pathom tested positive for ASF. Investigators have been sent to the slaughter house to find out from where the pigs came and how they were infected.
According to the protocol, for when a contagious disease is detected in a farm or slaughterhouse, the Livestock Development Department will declare the location and areas within five kilometre radius an epidemic zone and all live pigs within the zone must be culled to prevent the spread of the ASF virus.
Beyond the epidemic zone, movement of pigs from farms must have the consent of veterinarians. The department offered an assurance, however, that it will try to have as little impact on pig farmers as possible.
The department has sought cooperation from all pig farmers by strictly complying with the set measures to prevent the spread of ASF, adding that the department will employ similar measures to those used to contain bird flu several years ago.
For the general public, Soravit assured that ASF does not infect humans and infected pork can be eaten if it is well cooked at more than 70oC.