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Bali investigates pig deaths and swine fever is confirmed

New reports indicate that the sudden rise in pig deaths in Bali has been confirmed as a new outbreak of African swine fever.

5 February 2020, at 9:59am

Reports of hundreds of pig deaths across Bali sparked investigations as the death toll neared 1,000 animals. Government officials have now confirmed the cause of the deaths to be African swine fever (ASF).

“The pigs died because of the African swine fever,” Bali agriculture and food security agency head Ida Bagus Wisnuardhana told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday (4 February), though he says the outbreak is now under control as there have not been any reported deaths in the last 72 hours.

As of 31 January 2020, authorities in Bali reported 888 pig deaths in the region. With many of the pigs exhibiting clinical signs of ASF - high fever, vomiting, and diarrhoea - clinical tests were required to confirm the exact cause. Badung regency recorded the highest death toll at 598 pigs, followed by Tabanan with 219, Denpasar with 45, Gianyar with 24 and Bangli and Karangasem with one pig each.

“We suspect that those pigs were infected by ASF because many farmers gave them spoiled leftovers and raw food material from hotels without cooking it first,” Wisnuardhana added. Farmers have been warned not to feed their livestock with catering waste and kitchen leftovers to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, the Philippines have confirmed more outbreaks in the southern province of Mindanao where around 1000 pigs are reported to have died from the disease. The province has now temporarily banned the sale and transport of pigs, pork and pork products.

The virus has now been reported in 50 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe with millions of animals dying or being culled in the process. Research groups are currently working on developing efficacious, commercially-available vaccines and other prevention methods to aid control of its spread.

Visit The Pig Site Disease Index for more information on the clinical signs of ASF and on-farm prevention methods.