INTERVIEW: New Japan Farm Minister Determined to End Swine Fever
Tokyo, Sept. 14 (Jiji Press)--Newly appointed Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Taku Eto has expressed his determination to take decisive action on measures for ending the spread of swine fever in Japan, including whether to administer vaccines to pigs.
"We practically only have nine months until we are stripped of our status as a swine fever-free country" under the rules of the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE, Eto told Jiji Press and others in an interview on Thursday. "The severity of the issue is increasing, and we don't have time."
Swine fever was confirmed on Sept. 9, 2018, in the central prefecture of Gifu. The disease has spread to pig farms to six other prefectures in central and western Japan.
"We may decide to vaccinate pigs, or we may decide not to vaccinate and to be more thorough in sanitation management," Eto said. "We will probably be criticized for whichever decision we make, but I will accept that."
The minister also spoke of his wish for increased funding to aid domestic farmers, especially in the face of a new trade agreement with the United States.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]