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Okinawa sees swine fever outbreak after 33 years

Christian Fernsby |
Japan's Okinawa Prefecture said that pig farms in the prefecture have been hit by swine fever, a new outbreak after about 33 years.


According to local media reports, two pig farms in the city of Uruma in Okinawa were stricken by the swine fever. The two farms have about 1,800 pigs in total, all of which Okinawa plans to cull starting yesterday.

The prefecture has also asked for support from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in culling the infected hogs. However, the epidemic is not the deadly African swine fever, according to officials.

Taku Eto, Japan's minister for agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said that the infected pig farms have local Okinawan pig species, which may be a major blow to the prefecture, and the ministry will do all it can to contain the outbreak.

This is a newly reported outbreak of swine fever in Okinawa since October 1986. Okinawa is also the eighth prefecture in Japan to report an outbreak of swine fever on pig farms since the disease returned to the country in 2018 after a 26-year hiatus.

Swine fever is an acute, contagious disease of pigs that is not transmitted to humans. According to officials, the epidemic now in Japan is not the type of African swine fever which is highly infectious and deadly.

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