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Hong Kong Pig farmers told to maintain good hygiene following F&M outbreak

by 5m Editor
17 January 2007, at 11:32am

HONG KONG - The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department has urged pig farmers to maintain good hygiene, following a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in a Yuen Long pig farm. No abnormal mortality in local pigs has been observed so far.

Department officers inspected the farm in Lau Fau Shan on January 10 after receiving a report on a suspected outbreak. Tissue samples collected from sick sows tested positive for the foot-and-mouth disease virus. The farmer was ordered to disinfect in the whole farm and control movement of pigs and workers.

The department refuted an allegation that its refusal to allow the farm to segregate infected pigs led to the outbreak. The farm was not restricted from moving healthy pigs to any licensed structures. For the two sick sows suspected to have been infected then, the inspectors advised they not be moved as they might infect the healthy stock.

Foot-and-mouth disease is a common viral disease occurring in pigs in the region. It usually strikes the pig population sporadically in winter. Farmers can control the disease by vaccination and good biosecurity. They should comply with vaccination protocol, step up precautions and report any suspected cases to the department.

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5m Editor