Pig imports from Laos banned over swine fever fear

Pig imports from Laos banned over swine fever fear

Restrictions in place for 90 days as Thailand seeks to avoid becoming next Asian destination for disease

A worker checks the condition of pigs at a farm in Muang district of Sakon Nakhon on Saturday. (Photo by Pratuan Kajornwuttinun)
A worker checks the condition of pigs at a farm in Muang district of Sakon Nakhon on Saturday. (Photo by Pratuan Kajornwuttinun)

All pigs and carcasses from Laos are being banned from entering Thailand amid growing concern about African swine fever.

The Livestock Development Department said the ban would be in effect for 90 days initially.

The decision on Friday followed confirmation by Laos of its first cases. Infections in Saravane province in the southern part of the country had killed 973 animals, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health. The disease has spread from China to Vietnam and Laos.

Saravane is located on the Mekong River, opposite Ubon Ratchathani. Its eastern area borders Vietnam.

The transboundary animal disease can be spread by live or dead pigs but it poses no threats to humans. There is no vaccine against the fever.

Livestock officials at borders and airports have been alerted by the department about the fever since September last year. Officials in northeastern provinces have ordered farmers to immediately alert them about the deaths of any pigs on their farms and have banned the animals from being transported out of the area.

Yaowanit Bureeraksa, the chief of the livestock office in Sakon Nakhon, said on Saturday that officials had taken strict measures to prevent the transport of dead or live pigs to prevent the fever from developing or spreading.


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