1st Swine Fever Case since Vaccination Decision Found in Japan

Politics Society

Gifu, Sept. 23 (Jiji Press)--The Gifu prefectural government has revealed a new case of swine fever, the first outbreak confirmed for farm pigs since Japan's agriculture ministry, in a policy shift, decided on Friday to use vaccines against the highly contagious disease to prevent its further spread.

The local government has asked the Self-Defense Forces to send troops to help it slaughter some 8,100 pigs raised at a farm where the new outbreak occurred, in the city of Ena in the central Japan prefecture.

A total of some 70,000 pigs have been culled in Gifu since the first swine fever infection among pigs in Japan in 26 years was confirmed in the prefecture in September 2018.

Since then, the disease has spread to other prefectures, with the efforts to contain the crisis having failed to produce results, leading the ministry to opt for vaccinating farm pigs. Earlier, the ministry was reluctant on vaccination partly because Japan would lose its swine fever-free status under the rules of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) once vaccines are used, a situation that could affect Japanese pork exports.

"The new swine fever outbreak is very regrettable," Gifu Governor Hajime Furuta said at a meeting held at the prefectural government office on Sunday to discuss measures in response to the latest case. "I want to hold talks (with the central government) on details of the vaccination plan."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press