Swine fever hits 5 prefectures after shipments from Aichi farm:The Asahi Shimbun

  • Swine fever hits 5 prefectures after shipments from Aichi farm:The Asahi Shimbun

Swine fever hits 5 prefectures after shipments from Aichi farm:The Asahi Shimbun

"We are facing an extremely serious situation", Agriculture Minister Takamori Yoshikawa told a meeting at his ministry in Tokyo.

So far at least 6,600 pigs are set to be slaughtered at a farm in the city of Toyota and banning shipments from other farms nearby, according to the news agency.

Local government hygiene and agricultural workers in protective gear inspect a hog farm, where a swine cholera case has occurred in Kagamihara.

Authorities in several Japanese prefectures announced Wednesday they were finding it hard to contain the spread of swine fever, reports Japan Times.

Government officials in Japan are planning a rapid response to keep the virus from spreading, including culling up to 15,000 pigs at affected farms.

At that point, the prefectural government did not restrict the movement of pigs, allowing the farm to ship 80 pigs to a farm in Miyada, Nagano Prefecture, at 7 a.m. on February 5.

"It worries me that we don't know how the disease is spreading", said a pig farmer in Iida, Nagano Prefecture.

Breeding facilities that received pigs from the Toyoda, Aichi farm tested positive for hog cholera.

Japan's swine fever outbreak has spread to five prefectures including Osaka, and more than 10,000 pigs will be culled as part of measures to prevent further contagion, the government said on Wednesday. Detailed tests by the central government confirmed the infection on Wednesday.

The local government in Gifu had suggested the virus may have made its way onto the farm by way of wild boars or pigs that had contracted the disease and had been brought onto the farm.

Six hogs sent to a farm in Osaka Prefecture tested positive for the virus, Governor Ichiro Matsui said, adding all hogs at the farm will be culled as soon as a location is determined. Two hours later, Aichi officials asked the Toyota farm to refrain from moving pigs out of the facility in order to conduct tests on the animals to see if they had been infected with hog cholera.

But they also said they can not deny the possibility that the delay in their response may have resulted in the further spread of the disease, so they will review what happened and consider revising the inspection procedures. Prior to that Japan had not had any cases of the virus since 1992. The country declared the virus eradicated in 2007.